The Falcon Street site – which supplies oils, emulsifiers/stabilisers, release agents and fats to the bakery industry – could close, with staff transferred to another AAK site in Runcorn. However, redundancies have not been ruled out.
Speciality oil firm AAK bought the business, formerly named Croda Food Services, in July 2007 for around £5.5m; other UK satellites include a vegetable oil refinery in Hull and AAK Foods in Runcorn, which makes dressings and marinades for retail and foodservice customers.
In a statement supplied to FoodManufacture.co.uk, an AAK spokesman said the move was part of a “major business review” across the Swedish giant’s UK business.
“We are trying to do some restructuring. It’s just a proposal but what we have told our employees in Oldham is that we are trying to reduce our costs,” he said.
“We are looking at the possibility of closing the Oldham site in March, 2012. We are trying to consolidate all our activities on one site.
The spokesman said a consultation had begun with employees and explained the reasons for the closure: “We could take a lot of costs out of our business and become a lot more competitive by closing the Oldham site.
“We would look to move and redeploy people if we can. We have a site in Runcorn we can redeploy people to. We can’t rule out redundancies at the moment, unfortunately. We are keen to support people as much as we can.
"We have to adapt to the changing world. We have to be more competitive in the food market in general. We have to give excellent customer services to grow the business. Most businesses at the moment are having to look at their cost base and we are no different.”
Headquartered in Malmo, AAK has production facilities worldwide and operates in three key business areas: chocolate and confectionery fats, food ingredients, technical products and feed.