UPDATE: 400 jobs under threat in Sussex

The CSM Bakery Solutions site in Ashington - formerly Kate's Cakes Photo Eddie Mitchell SUS-160429-100946001
The CSM Bakery Solutions site in Ashington - formerly Kate's Cakes Photo Eddie Mitchell SUS-160429-100946001

Owners of Kate’s Cakes - who have announced closure of their plant at Ashington putting 400 jobs in Sussex at risk - said today that the closure was part of the firm’s ‘investment in the future.’

CSM Bakery Solutions took over Kate’s Cakes in 2006. The firm has issued the following statement:

Over the last year, CSM Bakery Solutions has made a number of significant investments in its people and facilities around the world, and there’s more to come, according to Robert Sharpe, CSM’s president and CEO.

“Today, the company announced several actions designed to optimize the business’ operations and better serve its dynamic and expanding customer base.

“We are excited about the overall landscape of our industry and the role we can play in delivering some of the industry’s best fresh-baked goods to our customers,” Sharpe said. “With these actions, we are clearly investing in our future. In the next two years, we will dedicate more than 150 million euros to position our company for long-term growth.”

Among the investments planned or already taking place are infrastructure and capacity improvements in CSM’s Atlanta Ingredients operations; equipment and infrastructure upgrades in the company’s facilities in Eagan (Minnesota), Dallas (Texas), and Colton and Pico Rivera (California); as well as a series of process improvements in its Ogden (Utah) operations.

In the UK, CSM is making similar infrastructure and equipment upgrades in its existing Bradford and Daventry operations, plus building a new, high-tech facility in Daventry.

Due to lack of capacity or other constraints, CSM will close its manufacturing operations in Houston toward the end of 2016 and in Esher and Ashington (UK) by the end of 2017.

The announced strategic investments and footprint changes will position CSM to better serve its customers and the industry, according to Sharpe.

“These actions will enhance our overall productivity, capabilities and capacity to allow us to profitably grow the business in the years ahead,” he said. “We have a great passion to deliver industry-leading solutions to our customers, and these actions enhance our ability to do so.  Our customers’ growth and success will be our growth and success.”