Leicester

Merger could close Fox's mints factory in Leicester

Fox's Glacier Mints
Image caption The Fox's Glacier factory has been making mints in Leicester since 1918

The factory that makes Fox's Glacier mints could close under merger plans.

It is proposed Fox's Glacier owner Big Bear Confectionery would merge with Tangerine Confectionery.

The move would close the Big Bear site in Leicester, where over 200 people are employed, and create a combined UK head office in Pontefract and Blackpool.

Tangerine Confectionery said a consultation with staff and unions was under way, but it could not confirm how many jobs might be at risk.

Big Bear Confectionery, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, is also behind other brands, including Poppets, XXX mints and Just Brazils.

A spokeswoman for Big Bear and Tangerine Confectionery, both owned by Valeo Foods Group, said employees and trade unions had been informed.

She said the company would be in a position to update staff on job losses at the end of March.

The consultation period is expected to last until the end of April.

Image caption A plaque now marks the spot in Oxford Street, Leicester, where the Fox's factory originally stood

The spokeswoman said: "The proposals being discussed with our employees will create a combined UK confectionery business that will be better positioned to deliver future sustainable growth in what is a very competitive UK confectionery market.

"Our immediate priority is the welfare of those employees who may be impacted by the proposals and we are committed to do everything we can to support our colleagues through the consultation period and beyond."

Alex Fraser, from the union USDAW, said: "This is devastating news for the staff who are obviously very upset. It would also be a blow for Leicester to lose the iconic Fox's Glacier mints brand."

He said they would "enter into meaningful consultation talks with the company" and provide members with support and advice.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A worker wrapping Fox's Glacier mints in 1931

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