350 Anglesey jobs in the balance as Asda confirms contract pull out


Geraint Jones

ASDA reaffirmed its decision to pull out of a contract with an Anglesey meat supplier, endangering 350 jobs.

Asda yesterday rejected Welsh Country Foods’ appeal against the decision to switch its lamb contract to Camarthenshire-based firm Dunbia.

Anglesey Council leader councillor Bryan Owen said: “We had hoped that Asda would listen to the strong arguments presented by Welsh Country Foods and that this key contract would remain on Anglesey.

“Welsh Country Foods is a major employer on Anglesey and with 350 jobs now at risk, this could be a hammer blow for the local economy.

“I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Welsh Government's Business Minister, Edwina Hart."

He added: "We'll now focus on working with our partners to do everything we can to support Welsh Country Foods staff and help its parent company Vion find a new buyer for the plant in Gaerwen."

Welsh Country Foods recently launched a two month closure consultation after Asda pulled out of the contract.

An Asda spokesman said: We have taken time to review Welsh Country Food’s challenges to the termination of its contract.?

"Unfortunately, our decision to end our supply relationship remains.

"We appreciate how disappointing this news will be for Welsh Country Foods but we want to reassure everyone that this decision was not taken lightly.

"Our customers will still be able to buy Welsh lamb, which is raised on Welsh farms and processed in Wales."

A Vion spokesman said: “We are very disappointed with Asda’s decision to terminate their contract with Welsh Country Foods, and we remain concerned about the potential impact that their decision may have on the local community and on farming in North Wales.

"The 90 day consultation period is still in progress and VION remains committed to exploring every opportunity to mitigate against any potential job losses.” 


Read the North Wales Chronicle tomorrow (Thursday, January 31) for an in-depth report.
What do you think of Asda's decision? Post a comment below or email geraint.jones@yahoo.co.uk.



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