Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Tea firm has no mercy for Tyneside workforce

TWININGS has defended taking a £12m EU grant to help fund the opening of a tea-packing factory in Poland, despite hundreds of jobs being lost in the region.

The Twinings plant on North Tyneside, which employs 260, is to close, with Owner AB Foods planning to open a £27m site in Poland.

The European Commission has opened an investigation into whether this use of the funding breached EU rules, with critics arguing that the taxpayer-funded grant from the EU effectively meant the workers had paid for their own job losses.

However, AB Foods Chief Executive George Weston said that the decision to open the Poland site was made before the application for the grant.

He Said: “The days when it made sense to import tea to the UK to pack it there and send it to Australia are behind us and we have to have factories in the right places.”

“We don’t apologise for renewing our supply chain, it’s a global business.

“We are expanding our factory in China and building a new one in Poland, which will reduce tea miles and produce a business better equipped to supply the market.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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