700 jobs at risk at Anglesey plants


Geraint Jones

HUNDREDS of Anglesey workers face an uncertain future as a food company put its UK plants up for sale.

Dutch meat processor Vion employs 700 people at sites the Welsh Country Foods abbattoir in Gaerwen and a chicken processing plant in Llangefni.

Anglesey AM Ieuan Wyn Jones feared for potential redundancies and a knock-on effect on farmers and suppliers.

He said: “The news that Vion is looking to sell its UK plants is extremely concerning.

“Ynys Môn is already struggling with unemployment and the Welsh Government needs to do all it can to retain jobs here.

Mr Jones said he would look to meet with the company and had tabled an urgent question to the Minister for the Economy on the sale.

Anglesey MP Albert Owen said both he and union representatives had written to Vion for assurances over its future amid rumours the UK sites would be sold, perhaps with a management buy out. He received no reply, and said the situation had not been handled well.

He said: “We want to cooperate to keep the business here, not just for the 700 people who work there, but also for the transport industry, buyers and other in the supply chain.”

The company, which has 38 sites in the UK, supplies beef, lamb, pork and chicken to the food retailing, food manufacturing and food service sectors.

Vion UK chairman Peter Barr said the company was in discussions with “several interested parties, including management” about acquiring various parts of the business.

He added: “The level of interest in the businesses has been strong and we hope to be in a position in the near future to give further details about the progress which has been made.

“The sale process will be completed in a smooth and orderly fashion to ensure business continuity for our employees, agricultural and other suppliers and our customers.”

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