MORE than 20 workers have been told that they will lose their jobs when a company based in Pershore relocates to eastern Europe.

Matthew Schneider, aged 20 is one of the 23 staff members at Garners Foods on the Racecourse Road Trading Estate, who were told this week that it was necessary to move the company to Poland for the good of the brand and its future development.

The decision has been made by Baxters Food Group, the parent company of Garners, and means redundancy is likely for the large majority of staff, who are now in a month-long period of consultation.

Matthew, who has worked at the company since he left Pershore High School more than four years ago, said: "On Monday we were asked to go to a meeting with a representative from Baxters .

"When he said they would be winding down production in September everyone was completely speechless, it was just such a shock. Basically, we will all be made redundant at some point this year but we don't know when yet.

"We were told that production would be moved to where the onions can be peeled fresher as at the moment it takes seven days between picking and pickling.

"In order to stay competitive they have decided to move the operation to Poland where things can be done quicker and they can be more productive.

"There are a few of us who are a bit younger but most of the guys are in their 30s and 40s and are really worried about what to do now. "

David Budge of Budge PR, which represent Baxters Food Groupm said: "It is with some regret that Baxters Food Group has confirmed the proposed closure of its manufacturing operation at Pershore and a proposed relocation of Garners production to a purpose-built facility in Poland.

"The company will now enter into a process of consultation with the 23 employees, affected which will last for about 30 days. There will be a couple of staff members appointed to represent the others during the consultation process as the factory is not unionised.

"At present, the main product at the factory is pickled onions that come from Poland. They are then trucked across Europe to Evesham and then back out to eastern Europe again," he added.