Job losses as large parts of coffee plant operation leaves Banbury


pic: Banbury FM (c)

280 roles at JDE have been put at risk; production is moving elsewhere

Large parts of Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) Banbury operation are closing down.   280 roles look set to go with the coffee factory’s production operation moving elsewhere. The Banbury site will be retained simply as a specialist coffee packing facility.

The shock news was announced to the workforce this morning (Tuesday).

The job losses announced today will be from the production and research and development areas of the Banbury factory.

A JDE spokesperson told Banbury FM: “We have today announced proposed changes to JDE’s Banbury factory. We are proposing to close the processing part of the site and focus solely on becoming a specialist coffee packing facility. This is an important and necessary change, enabling Banbury to remain a key facility in the JDE network.

“The industry is operating in a challenging economic environment and there is an overcapacity of freeze-dried coffee in our European factories which is expected to remain.

“Banbury has been, and continues to be, the least cost competitive factory in our network to process coffee. This means that changes must be made to improve the competitiveness of the site.

“Regrettably, this means that circa 250 roles will be at risk of redundancy. We are also proposing to close the R&D facility at Banbury which will impact a further 30 roles. If the proposals move forward, we expect that 134 roles will remain at the site.

“Banbury has long been associated with coffee and we are proud that there will be a continued presence in the town. Our decision to stop processing at Banbury has not been taken lightly and all other possibilities were rigorously assessed.   It in no way reflects the hard work and dedication of all who work at Banbury, and we are working to support all impacted associates.”

Polish media last week reported JDE would be building a new facility near the city of Jawor.   They said the estimated cost of the project was 140million Euros, with the Polish government providing some of the funding.   It is anticipated the factory will be one of the most modern plants of its kind in the world and highly automated; despite the huge scale of the project only about 50 people will work there once production starts.

Following the announcement Banbury’s MP Victoria Prentis told Banbury FM: “I have been made aware this morning that redundancies are to be made at the Jacob Douwe Egberts site in Banbury in February next year. I know this will not have been an easy decision for the management to come to, but JDE like many other companies are faced with having to adapt to some of the challenges associated with rapid advances in technology.

“While this has come as disappointing news given how important the factory is to our town, no official decision has been made at this point. I understand that all associates have been briefed today and a consultation will be launched at the end of the month. It is important that all associates facing the possibility of redundancy participate and make their views known. I know that JDE will be carefully listening to concerns throughout this difficult process.

“I will be speaking to the Plant Director later this week to discuss their plans in better detail. I will update constituents when I have more information to share and anyone affected can get in touch with me at”

The news will cause a wider knock on effect in Banbury.   JDE is one of the town’s largest employers and a number of other local businesses will be affected by the move.

The JDE Banbury site off the Southam Road was first developed back in 1963 as a factory for Alfred Bird – famous for Bird’s custard.   Banbury’s Mayor at the time, John Ryan, was filmed for local news programme ATV Today driving a piece of construction equipment onto the farm field site.  

When the factory opened in 1965 a large number of people relocated to Banbury for employment.

In 1967 the company was renamed as General Foods Ltd and later, through acquisition, became Kraft and Mondelez, before JDE.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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