Young’s Seafood taking over Marks and Spencer contract from Five Star Fish

Young’s Seafood has announced its takeover of the seafood contracts formerly held by Five Star Fish, and the potential addition of up to 200 new jobs in its plant in Grimsby, England.

The new contracts will see Young’s Seafood supply Marks and Spencer with chilled and frozen coated fish, natural salmon, and whitefish from 2018 to 2023. 

The contracts were in question after Five Star Fish announced it will likely close due to troubles fulfilling its obligations to Marks and Spencer. The closure will result in the loss of an estimated 390 jobs.

“The decision by M&S to partner with Young’s to supply its chilled and frozen coated fish, whitefish, and natural salmon underlines our continued position as the U.K.’s leading seafood supplier,” Young’s Seafood CEO Bill Showalter said. “Together with M&S, we will aim to inspire people to love fish now and for generations to come.”

In conjunction with its M&S announcement, Young’s said it will close its Pinneys site in Annan, Scotland by the end of 2018. The company said it will end its Deli and Meals production, which it said is “no longer financially sustainable,” and move its natural salmon work to Grimsby.

Pending a formal consultation with its employees and their representation, Young’s will lay off the 450 workers at its Pinneys site in Annan, but will open 200 new jobs in Grimsby to handle increased seafood production there, and 50 additional jobs at its scampi factory in Annan.

“If these proposals go ahead, employees at Young’s Pinneys will be provided with information regarding these new roles and will be given preference over new recruitment,” the company said.

Showalter said Young’s will maintain a presence in Annan.

“Today’s proposals to close our Young’s Pinneys site does not reflect on the committed and skilled teams at Young’s Pinneys – they are a credit to our company and if these proposals do go ahead we will work hard to maintain the employment of all colleagues throughout this transition,” Showalter said. “We have a long history of seafood production in Annan and whatever the outcome of the consultation we will continue to be a part of the community, given our other factory site within the town.”

The company said the proposal is part of the company’s “One Young’s” strategy, which seeks “to focus investments on [centers] of excellence to ensure Young’s is best positioned for future growth in the context of exceptionally challenging market conditions.”

In other news, two Grimsby-based firms have also opened up more positions following Five Star Fish’s closure, according to the Grimsby Telegraph. Morrisons announced it is expanding production of its main filleting seafood site and its added-value operation, which smokes fish and processes delicate seafood, and seeking 100 more staff as a result. And Scratch Meals will hire up to 25 new positions as it launches a new product line.

“Morrisons’ aim is to provide more and more seafood from our Grimsby site and as a result we need more talented foodmakers,” Morrisons’ Head of Seafood Operations Rob Smith said. “With jobs at risk at other employers in Grimsby, we hope to provide more opportunities for people in the town.”


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