Hovis owner Premier Foods has announced it will close two of its bakeries, putting 900 jobs up for redundancy.
The biggest impact will be in Birmingham, where 511 jobs are to be lost with the closure of a factory and distribution operation.
Another 196 jobs will be lost in Hovis operations at Greenford, west London, as well as another 95 job cuts from distribution sites at Plymouth and Mendlesham, Suffolk.
The job cuts won’t take effect before Christmas, as a consultation process will have to be completed first, but will take place next year.
The news wasn’t a surprise for most, as Premier Foods has spoken regularly about the increased competition Hovis faces in the UK market, and the troubles which have hit the price and production of bread in the past few years, such as poor grain harvests.
Almost half of Premier Foods 10,000 employees work in the bread division.
The loss of a lucrative £75m-a-year contract with a major grocery chain, reported to be the Cooperative according to the Mirror, was revealed earlier this year, after Premier said it had been unable to secure suitable conditions.
According to the Mirror, the deal went instead to Allied Bakeries, which makes Kingsmill and Allinsons and is part of Associated British Foods.
The Premier chief executive, Michael Clarke, said: “We recognise the impact these actions will have for our employees at the sites affected.
“Decisions will not be taken lightly, but they are necessary if we are to build a strong and successful future for the bread division and those who remain with our business.”
Premier Foods has also sold a number of its well known pickle brands to Japanese firm Mizkan in the past year, including Branston’s, Haywards and Sarson’s vinegar, as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce company debt.