THERE IS still hope for the future of an Anglesey meat processing plant where nearly 350 jobs hang in the balance.
That was the view of Anglesey Council leader Bryan Owen after crisis talks with Welsh Country Foods management to discuss the way forward after Asda’s decision to pull out of a lamb contract with the company.
Cllr Owen said: ”There are, of course, huge concerns about the future of Welsh Country Foods as a major employer on the island. However, we still hold out hope that there can be a future for the plant, even if this is on a smaller scale.
“There is no other large abattoir in North Wales, an area which specialises in beef and lamb production, and the Gaerwen plant has been newly relicensed by EU following inspection and improvements, so the potential is there.”
Vion announced last year that it intended to pull out of its UK operations to concentrate on its core operations in the Netherlands and Germany.
Cllr Owen chaired the second crisis response meeting in Llangefni, which also included Unite, Wales TUC, Job Centre, Careers Wales, Coleg Menai and Menter Môn.
Cllr Owen added: “We’re now focusing on ensuring the best support for employees facing possible redundancy.
“All partners are working together to provide the Welsh Country Foods work force with as much practical assistance as possible over the coming weeks.”
The council has requested a meeting with Welsh Government Business Minister Edwina Hart to discuss the Gaerwen plant’s future. .