A London biscuit factory has reassured staff there are no plans to cut jobs after it emerged dozens of roles could be lost at a sister site in the North West.

Snack company pladis, whose products include McVitie’s and Jacob’s, announced that 159 out of 470 workers at its Stockport factory could be laid off. 

However, it confirmed to the Local Democracy Reporting Service that, for the time being, things will carry on as normal at its site in Harlesden, North West London.

Nina Sparks, vice president of supply chain at pladis UK and Ireland, said the company is “grappling with new and growing external pressures”. 

She explained that rising inflation and energy costs, as well as supply chain disruptions leading to increased production costs has forced pladis to reconsider its current model.

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Ms Sparks said: “We understand this news will be very difficult for those in Manchester.  Our Manchester factory remains an important part of our UK business and our priority now is to provide our colleagues with clear guidance and the right support as we start the proposed consultation process. 

“We are the proud custodian of some of the world’s best-loved snacking brands and we believe strongly in their enduring consumer appeal. But, like many other businesses, we are grappling with new and growing external pressures. We must, therefore, review and consider appropriate steps to safeguard the future of our whole business.” 

Trade union chiefs have said that staff are “devastated” by the potential cuts and they will take part in consultation talks with pladis. The Harlesden factory is the largest biscuit factory in Europe, where hundreds of staff help bake tens of thousands of biscuits each day. 

There is a clear connection between the London site and the one in Stockport – the chocolate used on McVitie’s digestives is made up in the North before making the 200-mile trip to Harlesden where it is spread onto the biscuits.