Unite, the union representing workers at the now closed Vion UK site Welsh Country Foods, has said it is “disappointed” with the way the firm has let the business “slip away”.
Welsh Country Foods announced the closure of the site this morning (12 April), which will put 310 jobs on the line.
The facility, which will close with immediate effect, was linked to a potential management buy-out last month. The future of the plant had been uncertain since the start of the year when it lost a contract to supply Asda, which accounted for around 50% of the site’s business.
However, agreement on the possible takeover was not reached. Welsh Country Foods site director Eddie Ennis said the company had explored “every possible avenue” to avoid closure but had been unable to identify any viable alternative.
Unite expressed disappointment at the decision over the facility, which will face closure today with only skeleton security and maintenance crew remaining.
“This is clearly a sad day for our members at Welsh Country Foods, Gaerwen and a sad day for the community as a whole in Anglesey,” said Unite Walsh officer Paddy McNaught.
“We know that there was business interest in the site and were optimistic that a buyer could be found. We are very disappointed in the manner in which Vion UK has simply let this slip away – along with hundreds of jobs.”
In November last year, Vion announced in was selling its UK food operations as part of a strategy to focus on its core food activities in the Netherlands and Germany and its global ingredients business.
In December, Vion sold its UK pork arm in an MBO. A month later, it offloaded its Hall’s brand to Scotland’s Browns Food Group and premium sausage brand Debbie & Andrew’s to Ireland’s ABP Food Group.
Last month, Vion struck a deal to sell its UK poultry and the rest of its red meat processing businesses to Boparan Holdings, the parent of 2 Sisters Food Group.