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VION UK to Close Welsh Lamb Facility

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VION UK to Close Welsh Lamb Facility

VION UK to Close Welsh Lamb Facility
January 14
12:40 2013

Welsh Country Foods, part of VION UK, has announced it could be forced to close its lamb processing business on the Island of Anglesey, employing almost 350 people, following the loss of a  key customer, which has decided to consolidate its fresh lamb business with an alternative supplier.

Welsh Country Foods has commenced a 90-day consultation exercise with its unions and workers. Jose Peralta, Managing Director of VION’s red meat business, says: “We recognise the impact which this decision will have on the local economy and the community in Anglesey and we are currently in discussions with the retailer to establish if their decision can be overturned and if any steps can be taken to mitigate their decision.  Throughout the consultation process we will explore every opportunity to limit any potential job losses which will include attracting new customers to the site or the sale of the business to any interested parties. We will also work with our farmer supply base to minimise any impact that this may have on their activities.”

The plant was purchased by VION Food Group in August 2008 when it acquired the Grampian Country Food Group and forms part of the group’s red meat activities. Welsh Country Foods, employs almost 350 staff, and is the major processing facility for Welsh lamb in North Wales, handling 640,000 lambs per annum.

VION UK, part of the Netherlands-based VION, currently employs almost 8,000 staff at 30 facilities across the country and is a major supporter of the UK farming industry, producing and processing beef, lamb and chicken. Jose Peralta adds: “If the consultation exercise does not reveal a viable way forward for this plant regrettably we will have no other option but to close the site.”

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