Cargill loses major poultry contract with Asda

Cargill Meats Europe has lost a key poultrymeat account with supermarket Asda, putting 230 jobs under consultation at its Yazor Road site, in Hereford.

The integrator said in a statement that, following a “competitive tendering process”, it had lost Asda’s “bread and battered” contract, and would close the lines that produce these products on 1 June this year.

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The statement added it would focus instead on its fresh chicken business, in which £35m had recently been invested.

Cargill said it hoped to redeploy affected employees to other areas of the business, and Unite, the trade union, said it was “quietly confident” compulsory redundancies could be avoided.

Mary Thompson, managing director of Cargill Meats Europe, added: “This is not an easy announcement to make, every effort will be made to minimise the impact of this on our employees, they are our first priority here.

“I’d like to personally thank every employee for all their hard work and commitment to Cargill and producing such high quality fantastic products.”

The company said no other area of the business would be affected, and it would continue to operate poultry processing operations in Wolverhampton, Hereford and Newent.