Poultry processor Vion Food UK has announced plans to close its factory in Thorne, Yorkshire and relocate operations to facilities in Sanycroft, North Wales and Coupar Angus in Pearthshire, Scotland.
The closure would put 255 jobs at risk, 201 on the factory floor and 54 office positions, with the company now in discussion with unions over the future of the workers.
A 90 day consultation period will begin from today to asses if the plant will be closed. If the consulation results in a decision to close the facility it could shut at the end of this period in mid-August.
Vion cited a challenging marketplace, rising feed and fuel costs as well an efficiency drive within the poultry business as reasons for the proposed closure.
According to Vion, the Thorne site lacks sufficient numbers of contract growers nearby meaning the site doesn’t operate to capacity, with large volumes of birds being shipped in from as far away as Scotland to increase production.
Also the site requires a significant re-investment over the next five years to ensure compliance with health, safety, environmental and hygiene legislation, a cost Vion would like to avoid.
“We regret the need for the proposed changes that have been announced today which are necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of our operations,” said Peter Miller, managing director of Vion’s poultry business unit.
“The commitment from the team at Thorne has never been in question, and we are committed to consulting with our employees and their Union representatives to mitigate against job losses.”
“Throughout the consultation process the business will be considering all alternative proposals and doing all that it can to support our employees through what is undoubtedly a very difficult period.”