Anglesey Vion meat plant to close with 310 jobs lost
- 11 April 2013
- From the section North West Wales
A bid to find a buyer for a meat processing plant on Anglesey has failed, with 310 people being told they are out of work.
Redundancy notices are being issued to the entire workforce at the Welsh Country Foods plant at Gaerwen.
The site will close with immediate effect said Vion, its Dutch owners.
Farming union NFU Cymru said the closure was a "body-blow" to lamb producers across Wales.
Unite Wales officer Paddy McNaught said: "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.
"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."
The Gaerwen site was one of two on Anglesey owned by Vion. But a buyer was found for the sister plant at Llangefni, safeguarding some 300 posts there.
It was bought by the Birmingham-based 2 Sisters Food Group, along with sites at Sandycroft in Flintshire, where 1,300 people are employed, and at Merthyr Tydfil where another 1,300 jobs were saved.
Eddie Ennis, site director at Welsh Country Foods, said the closure at Gaerwen was "a very sad day for all those involved".
"We have explored every possible avenue to avoid having to take this extremely regrettable action but, unfortunately, we have been unable to identify any viable alternative to closure of the plant."
NFU Cymru said the closure means the last major slaughter facility has been lost in north Wales.
"This is a body blow to lamb producers across Wales and to employment on the island of Anglesey and Gwynedd," said NFU Cymru president Ed Bailey.
"The loss of one of the biggest slaughterhouses in Wales bodes badly for an industry already suffering from low prices and increased costs."
NFU Cymru still wants VION, the Welsh Government and Anglesey council to continue to do everything in their powers to find a buyer for the site, he added.