Dronfield bakery ‘jobs at risk’

The Gunstones Bakery site
The Gunstones Bakery site

More than 400 jobs are believed to be at risk at a bakery in Dronfield, say union officials, after the firm lost one of its major sandwich-supply contracts.

Gunstones Bakery on Stubley Lane in Dronfield employs about 1,200 staff.

Now parent company 2 Sisters Food Group has entered into consultation with the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union over potential redundancies.

John Higgins, organising regional secretary at the BFAWU union, told The Star he believed the firm could possibly shed 120 jobs by the end of August, with another 300 potentially to be lost in January next year.

A company source said it was ‘totally wrong’ and ‘far too early’ to speculate on the numbers of jobs that might be at risk, and added the consultation process will last for 45 days.

But parent company 2 Sisters confirmed that Gunstones, which originated in Sheffield in 1925, had lost a contract for triangle sandwiches with Marks and Spencer.

It is hoped contracts with other customers might mitigate the impact.

Mr Higgins said the news was a ‘major surprise’ – and that the business will have to undergo a restructuring process as a result.

Mr Higgins said: “The firm is hoping to restructure both the site and the business. What the company is saying so far is that there are 120 jobs at risk at the end of the month, and a further 300 in January next year, bringing the total to 420.

“It has come as a major surprise.

“Gunstones is the jewel in the crown – a 24/7 operational site.”

A spokesman for the firm told The Star: “Gunstones Bakery confirms that its current contract to supply triangle sandwiches to one of its customers will be brought to a close within the next six months.

“The company is reviewing the impact of this on its business.

“It is entering into a period of consultation with affected colleagues and their elected representatives.”