Unwins suffers turbulent times

Seed firm's trial grounds may be sold as several senior staff resign

Uncertainty reigns at Unwins Seeds after the announcement that its Histon trial grounds may be sold and with the resignation of several senior staff. Managing director Mark Taylor said selling the land is “one option” and the staff reaction was “one of disappointment” when they were told last week the administration and packaging departments at Histon are planned to move to Unwin’s Chester base within six months. He said: “The commercial reality of having the business on one site and integrated makes sense.” In a separate development, board member and marketing director Peter McDermott, commercial manager Richard Massey, marketing promotions manager Tim Jefferies and trials manager Mark Williams are serving resignation notices. Taylor said: “When three senior people in Wisbech resign on one day it is perturbing.” Last month, Unwins announced a “significant” rise in year-on-year retail sales. The latest available figures from Plimsoll Publishing show Unwins Properties trading profit dipped from £391,000 in 2001 to a loss of £246,000 in 2002.

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