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The manufacturer said a significant decrease in volume at the site – as well as equipment and operation restrictions – meant the factory could not meet the operational costs needed to keep it running. 

Forty three permanent roles were affected, with an additional two colleagues moving to the company’s Chester site. Production will move to Barry Callebaut’s other UK sites.

A spokesman for Barry Callebaut said: “Following a consultation process at Barry Callebaut’s chocolate factory in Moreton, we have made the difficult decision to close the factory on 31st May.  

‘Not taken lightly’  

“This is not a course of action that has been taken lightly and comes after exploring all alternatives to better balance production capacity and demand in the UK. We would like to thank all our employees for their dedication and hard work over the years.” 

The closure followed a consultation with employees regarding the potential closure that began at the start of April this year. It cited the need to improve operational efficiency and to better balance production capacity and demand in the UK. 

Franny Joyce, regional co-ordinating officer for Unite the Union said that despite its best endeavours, the union was unable to come up with a viable alternative to the company’s proposal to closure. 

‘Impossible outcome’ 

“The spare capacity within the company and the high energy and overhead costs of a very old site that hadn’t had proper investment for a while presented made it impossible for us to achieve a different outcome,”​ she added.