One of Wales’ biggest slaughterhouses is to close tomorrow (April 12th) after Vion failed to find a buyer for the site.
The closure of Welsh Country Foods at Gaerwen, Anglesey, has been described as a “body blow” to lamb producers across Wales.
NFU Cymru president, Ed Bailey, warned that there could be lamb-supply repercussions. “The loss of one of the biggest slaughterhouses in Wales bodes badly for an industry already suffering from low prices and increased costs,” he said.
“Competition for lambs is important as is the mix of large medium and small abattoirs in Wales to meet various markets for sheep meat in Wales the UK and Europe. Loss of Gaerwen abattoir capacity will significantly affect this balance and ability to supply various markets with a quality Welsh product.”
Dutch-owned Vion put the red meat processing plant up for sale last November and had hoped to find a buyer to secure 350 jobs. There had been speculation of a possible management buyout and interest from foreign buyers.
Throughput at the Gaerwen factory is about 640,000 lambs a year.
The abattoir’s closure will result in a large drop in overall slaughter capacity in Wales and a loss of levy income for the red meat promotion agency, Hybu Cig Cymru.