Karro Food Group in 113 job loss threat at Wiveliscombe

More than 100 jobs could be lost at a food manufacturing company in west Somerset.

The Karro Food Group said it plans to close its slaughter and butchery operations in Wiveliscombe.

The company said the site is not profitable in the long term and has begun a consultation with workers and union representatives.

Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne said he "wanted to protect the important source of local employment".

'Town character diminished'

"This is an important employer in Wiveliscombe," said Liberal Democrat Mr Browne, who added he had written to the group's chief executive.

"The character of Wiveliscombe will diminished if it just becomes a town which people live in but commute to work elsewhere."

Terry Keefe of Unison, which represents workers at the site, said it had put forward alternatives to the plans.

"We're suggesting a slightly scaled down business on the site," he said.

"We believe our proposals will allow the site to make a small profit, and perhaps the 5% profit the group requires could be achieved over a period of time.

"There is an inevitability that there will be some job losses but we hope to work with management to minimise that."

'Extremely reluctant'

Karro chief executive Seamus Carr said the Wiveliscombe operation "simply does not have the necessary scale to operate profitably".

He added: "We have reached this stage extremely reluctantly and only after ruling out all other options.

"We must propose this change in order to ensure our continued viability and growth, and safeguard other jobs across our business."

The consultation with staff is due to end on 9 September.

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