Bacon jobs blow
ONE of Barrhead's oldest surviving businesses is axing jobs following an unprecedented slump in trade, it has emerged.
Bacon firm D&R Stevenson, which was founded 126 years ago, is in talks with employees about redundancies.
Joe Cornes, managing director of parent company Becketts Food, said the company had suffered a massive slump in trade, believed to be unprecedented, saying: "D&R Stevenson has recently experienced a significant loss of business, representing approximately two thirds of sales revenue from its manufacturing side.
"Every effort is being made to replace lost work, however, as will be appreciated, this is not a short-term process.
"As a result of this downturn, and in order to preserve future trading and match costs to current revenue, a proportion of jobs have been declared redundant."
The company would not say how many jobs will go or when. Mr Cornes added: "We are in consultation with our staff in Barrhead as to the amount of redundancies needed."
D&R Stevenson was started in 1886 by founder David Stevenson.
For the next 110 years, the company remained a family business as it was handed down through two more generations before being sold by majority shareholding in 1996 by Newcastle-upon-Tyne based company, Henry Hirst Provisions.
The Barrhead factory in Glen Street specialises in the slicing of bacon products and the production of gammon joints, and its dark green vans have become a ubiquitous sight in the town. Up until the recent cuts, 91 production staff were employed between the company's Barrhead premises and the Henry Hirst factory in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
However, accounts filed this month with Companies House for Henry Hirst reveal it suffered a £408,000 operating loss at the end of the last financial year, after making a £233,162 profit the year before.
Councillor Tommy Reilly, commenting on the job losses, said: "My deepest sympathies go out to the men and women who are being made redundant in this situation.)
"It is a sign of the times that Barrhead's most established companies are really struggling, and while I fear it may not be the last, I do sincerely hope a solution to the situation can be found before more redundancies have to be made.
"The loss of jobs also impacts the local economy as a whole, as it means there are less employed people spending money in the town and more unemployed."
The news comes just two weeks after the Barrhead News reported on the liquidation of town roller shutter company Aable. All 35 jobs were lost after the company called in liquidation specialists PCR.
Henry Hirst was bought by a larger food distribution firm early last year by directors of Becketts Food based in Coventry, which remains profitable.
John Hamilton, president of East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said of D&R Stevenson's plight: "It is worrying to hear of another company in Barrhead struggling, especially so soon after the events at Aable.
"The chamber has been a long-time supporter of the company and I hope it can recover from the difficult financial position it finds itself in.
"It must be in a very difficult position and is feeling the effects that all businesses in Barrhead and across East Renfrewshire are feeling from the poor financial times."
Are you an employee of D&R Stevenson who is facing redundancy? Call Sean Rooney on 0141 435 8885 or email email@example.com
This article appeared in Barrhead News 28 Nov 12