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Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 11:03 GMT
Jobs safe at Birds Eye factory
Hundreds of staff at a Suffolk factory have been assured their jobs are safe following an in-depth review of the business.

Concern had been raised that Unilever Ice Cream and Frozen Food, based in Lowestoft on the Suffolk and Norfolk border, could reduce its presence in the town or even leave altogether.

However, managers announced on Friday that the jobs of the 800 staff who produce the Birds Eye range at the site were safe, and plans had been drawn up to explore new avenues at the factory.

The plans for the company, which has been located in the town for 54 years, could include using third party manufacturers to supply some products while keeping others in-house.

'Proud history'

A series of studies will take place over the next few months to look at the company's supply chain, its technology and practices.

James Hill, chairman, said: "This supply chain review should identify new opportunities to help grow our brands and our business".

Graham Cooke, general manager at Lowestoft, added: "We continue to be proud of our 54 year history in Lowestoft, as one of the largest local employers - that's why we shall undertake the proposed studies".

The focus of the study will fall on the factory's potato and red meat products while vegetable and poultry will continue as before.

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