Avara Foods factory closure plan puts 400 jobs at risk

One of the UK’s largest poultry processors has announced plans to close a turkey factory in Abergavenny by the autumn, putting 400 jobs at risk.

Avara Foods blamed rising costs in fuel, commodities and labour since the Covid-19 pandemic, which has driven up pricing, and falling demand for UK-produced turkey in the retail market for its decision.

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The company said it would begin a period of consultation with the workers affected in the coming days.

The Avara Foods plant in Monmouthshire, South Wales, supplies chicken and turkey to supermarkets and restaurant chains.

Over the past six months, the firm said it had been looking in depth at a range of options, including different uses for the Abergavenny plant.

“Regretfully, this process identified that volumes could be processed more efficiently in our other operations and with lower capital investment. This has resulted in the proposal to close the Abergavenny site,” said a company statement.

“This difficult decision has not been taken lightly and in no way reflects on the hard-working colleagues.”

To remain competitive to its customers, Avara said it had started to re-engineer its turkey business “to operate a more efficient operational footprint focused on fewer, better-invested facilities”.

The Welsh government said the announcement was a “major blow” for workers and the community.

A spokesperson added: “We are in touch with the business to explore options and stand ready to support those affected by today’s news.”

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