THE firm that officially took over Poole’s Kerry Foods this week says it has no current plans to make any redundancies.

Kerry Foods, which employs 700 people at its Sterte Avenue food manufacturing plant, has been acquired by the Nottingham-based Pork Farms Group to create a new company that will trade under the Pork Farms Group name.

Kerry Foods’ plants in Poole and in Spalding, Lincolnshire, will both be incorporated into the new company, which will be led by Pork Farms’ existing management team.

When quizzed about the security of jobs at the Sterte Avenue plant, a Pork Farms spokesman told the Daily Echo: “While we can never rule out the need to reduce roles in the future, we do not currently have plans for redundancies.”

In April this year the Echo revealed how 150 jobs looked set to be axed at the Poole food manufacturer, as Kerry Foods announced a review of its local operations at that time.

Back then the firm employed 860 full-time workers. This number had fallen to 700 by the time of Monday’s (Aug 18) announcement.

Chris Peters, group managing director of Pork Farms Group, said: “This acquisition is an extremely exciting next step for our business. It will provide our customers with a streamlined, more responsive and better invested supply chain, reflecting the increasingly competitive retail landscape that we are seeing in today’s market as consumers’ shopping habits change.”

The new Pork Farms Group now employs 2,554 people and produces chilled savoury foods including pork pies, sausage rolls, quiche and savoury slices and pies .

The transaction includes Kerry Foods’ manufacturing, warehouse and back office support staff at Poole.

Mr Peters said: “Over the last seven years, Pork Farms has developed a track record for innovation and quality. This move helps us to build on this, allowing us to make further investment in production facilities, R&D and innovation.

“This will expand the equality and range of products available to all our customers, and will provide new opportunities for our employees.”