VION UK to re-organise its poultry processing operations
VION Food UK has announced proposals to transfer poultry processing from its factory at Thorne to its sites at Sandycroft in North Wales, and Coupar Angus in Perthshire.
The company reports that the extremely challenging marketplace with increasing feed and fuel costs, and intense competition requires an ever-greater focus on efficiency. The review of VION operations is a continuous process, to ensure that we maintain our focus on quality and on operational excellence, and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the business, said the company in a statement.
A review of operating sites within the Poultry Business Unit identified a number of issues facing the Thorne site that have resulted in the proposed transfer of operations to other VION plants. These issues include lack of contract growers close to the site limits its maximum kill, meaning the site is unable to operate to capacity, significant volumes of birds are transported each week from farms as far away as southern Scotland and the site requires significant investment over the next 5 years to ensure compliance with health, safety, environmental and hygiene legislation.
As a result of the proposed re-structure, the VION Thorne site is potentially at risk of closure, with 255 roles (201 factory and 54 Head Office positions) potentially affected.
Peter Miller, Managing Director of VION’s Poultry business unit said, “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. 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.”
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