Allied Bakeries in Orpington dubbed 'local institution' by Jo Johnson MP could close

Jo Johnson at Allied Bakeries site

Orpington bakery dubbed a 'local institution' by Jo Johnson MP could close

First published in News
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News Shopper: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , reporter

An Orpington bakery that has stood since 1938 could bake its last loaf of bread.

News Shopper has been told Allied Bakeries, heralded as a ‘local institution’ and said to be the town’s second largest employer, has confirmed a full consultation will take place.

Around 170 jobs could be affected. 

At 4pm today (August 4) staff members were to be told the news as parent company ABF Grain Products Ltd looks to takes action following a decline in sales.

Just hours before Jo Johnson MP met with site managers at the Cray Avenue factory and had also discussed the decision with the chief executive of the Association of British Foods.

Mr Johnson told News Shopper it is “disappointing news” and “a difficult day for the company”, but said he has been told employees would all be offered alternative roles.

The MP said: “My heart goes out to everyone affected.

“There’s been a decline in the market. The important this is we all work together.”

Allied Bakeries, which produces popular brands such as Kingsmill and Sunblest, seems to be reacting to research that shows that Britons are buying fewer sliced supermarket loaves than ever.

Although the move could mark the end of baking in Orpington, the site would continue to operate as a distribution and logistics centre, News Shopper understands.

Mr Johnson said he was told the site could continue to employ over 200 people.

Following discussions, he added: “I sought the most robust assurances that all people affected be given appropriate opportunities elsewhere in the company.

“We also need a proper explanation of why Allied Bakeries, which has been baking here since 1938, cannot meet its corporate objectives through restructuring elsewhere in the company.

“The consultation must be a proper one that gives real answers to these questions. “In the meantime, my deepest sympathies are with the hardworking employees affected by this disappointing news.”

Allied Bakeries said in a statement: “Due to the long term decline in the bread market, Allied Bakeries is proposing the closure of its manufacturing plant in Orpington to maintain competitiveness.

“The consultation process around the proposal will commence immediately with those potentially affected and their union representatives.

“Every effort including professional outplacement support will be made to secure alternative employment either within Allied Bakeries, the broader ABF group or externally in the local area for potentially affected employees. This proposal does not affect Allied Bakeries’ regional depot facility in Orpington.”

Operations Director for Allied Bakeries Nick Law added: “The potential closure of manufacturing at Orpington has been an extremely tough decision and in no way reflects the commitment and efforts of all those who are currently working there.

“Our announcement today is a response to the highly competitive nature of the market we operate in.”

Comments (7)

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5:24pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Brook says...

They have probably run out of dough
They have probably run out of dough Brook
  • Score: 21

10:18pm Mon 4 Aug 14

white rabbit9 says...

“There’s been a decline in the market. The important this is we all work together.”

What a load of rollocks.

Yeah the worry is people are looking at how they can feed themselves because of the population explosion, children are going hungry looking in bins for food, people are just about surviving, but sales are falling.

I smell bull**** ,prefer to smell bread but something dodgy is going on.
“There’s been a decline in the market. The important this is we all work together.” What a load of rollocks. Yeah the worry is people are looking at how they can feed themselves because of the population explosion, children are going hungry looking in bins for food, people are just about surviving, but sales are falling. I smell bull**** ,prefer to smell bread but something dodgy is going on. white rabbit9
  • Score: -4

10:27pm Mon 4 Aug 14

mumcabs says...

I don't believe there's a decline in sliced bread sales at all in supermarkets. I buy loads of bread and always see other shoppers buying it too.
I don't believe there's a decline in sliced bread sales at all in supermarkets. I buy loads of bread and always see other shoppers buying it too. mumcabs
  • Score: 5

8:38am Tue 5 Aug 14

molsey says...

Jo Johnson is just blowing hot air for the benefit of votes. The truth of the matter is if the owners want to close it, it will be close - end of.
Jo Johnson is just blowing hot air for the benefit of votes. The truth of the matter is if the owners want to close it, it will be close - end of. molsey
  • Score: 8

9:05am Tue 5 Aug 14

highway warrior says...

The smell of the fresh bread was the only thing the kept me sane whilst working on the old Nugents Park estate.
The smell of the fresh bread was the only thing the kept me sane whilst working on the old Nugents Park estate. highway warrior
  • Score: 9

9:23am Tue 5 Aug 14

zooloo says...

mumcabs wrote:
I don't believe there's a decline in sliced bread sales at all in supermarkets. I buy loads of bread and always see other shoppers buying it too.
Some of the population are starting to eat healthy and therefore cutting out high carbs such as bread. I used to go through a couple of loaves myself a week and now a small loaf lasts me about 2-3 weeks (in the freezer of course). I am not just talking for myself but many people i know. I have also noticed the dates on the shelves are shorter than they used to be meaning that they are the shelves longer or having to be reduced as sales are not as high.
However i am in support of this factory as Family members of mine have worked there and i agree its a part of Orpingtons history.
[quote][p][bold]mumcabs[/bold] wrote: I don't believe there's a decline in sliced bread sales at all in supermarkets. I buy loads of bread and always see other shoppers buying it too.[/p][/quote]Some of the population are starting to eat healthy and therefore cutting out high carbs such as bread. I used to go through a couple of loaves myself a week and now a small loaf lasts me about 2-3 weeks (in the freezer of course). I am not just talking for myself but many people i know. I have also noticed the dates on the shelves are shorter than they used to be meaning that they are the shelves longer or having to be reduced as sales are not as high. However i am in support of this factory as Family members of mine have worked there and i agree its a part of Orpingtons history. zooloo
  • Score: 5

12:27am Thu 7 Aug 14

Harold_Monk says...

If Kingsmill was better bread, they wouldn't be in this mess
If Kingsmill was better bread, they wouldn't be in this mess Harold_Monk
  • Score: 0

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