Asda’s plans to stop baking from scratch in stores has put Tayside and Fife jobs at risk.
The supermarket giant is consulting with more than 1,000 staff over plans to overhaul its in-store bakeries.
The company said the move has been sparked by changing tastes among shoppers and it was treating redundancy as “the last option”.
The move has been criticised by the GMB union who said it was bad for consumers and employees alike.
As many as 1,200 staff work at the in-store bakeries across 341 Asda branches.
What are Asda’s plans?
Asda said customers are increasingly looking for speciality breads, wraps, bagels and pancakes ahead of traditional loaves.
The shift will see a centralised bakery delivering a larger range of pre-baked goods to supermarkets each day, replacing the current model where the goods are baked from scratch on site.
Asda chief merchandising officer Derek Lawlor said: “The current in-store bakery model has restricted our ability to respond to changing customer demands and offer them the speciality products and freshly baked goods they want to buy throughout the day.
“The changes we are proposing will deliver a much better and more consistent bakery offering for customers across all our stores. We know these proposed changes will be unsettling for colleagues and our priority is to support them during this process.”
Union hits out at changes
But Roger Jenkins, GMB national officer called for the supermarket to reverse its decision.
He said: “Asda’s plans to scrap baking their products from scratch on site and replace them with part-baked products from mass producers is not good for the consumer.
“Over 1,000 skilled bakers are now at risk of losing their jobs. GMB calls on Asda to retain these valuable skilled employees and continue to offer the customer truly fresh produce.”
Asda’s move follows a similar decision by Tesco, taken last year, which put up to 1,800 jobs at risk.
Tesco said it would do less baking in-stores, citing a similar shift away from traditional loaves and bread.
Asda is conducting another review of back office workers which could put thousands of jobs at risk.
Asda was sold by US giant Walmart for £6.8 billion in December last year to Mohsin and Zuber Issa.
However the decision to slash the bakeries was taken independently of the Issa brothers.
The Competition and Markets Authority has ordered them to not exercise influence over Asda until it can assess the deal.