LLAY, WALES – Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods Inc. announced plans to close its Wrexham meat and poultry processing facility in North Wales. Tyson acquired the operation more than a year ago from BRF Wrexham.

The company said it has proposed closing the business at the village of Llay in Wrexham at the end of September, resulting in the loss of 71 jobs. Unite the Union, which represents employees at the facility, and Tyson are in consultations about the fate of the plant.

“Tyson Foods is exploring options including discontinuing the operations or selling the Wrexham facility,” the company told MEAT+POULTRY. “Putting this proposal forward was a very difficult decision. It was based on a combination of factors including our ability to generate profitable growth and our need to adapt to shifting customer needs. We are currently consulting with our team members in Wrexham about the proposal to discontinue operations on 30 Sept. 2020.”

The Wrexham plant was part of Tyson Foods’ acquisition of the Thai and European businesses from São Paulo, Brazil-based BRF S.A., which was announced in June of 2019. The deal included four production facilities in Thailand and one in the Netherlands and the Wrexham facility in Wales. The plant features in-house innovation capabilities for developing further-processed chicken products for retail and foodservice customers.

Jo Goodchild, Unite Wales regional officer, said, “This is devastating news for a loyal and dedicated workforce. The economy of North East Wales has seen a succession of large scale redundancies in recent months and today’s news is more bad news for the local area.

“This site was first opened in 1962 under Frimbo Foods and is one of the main employers in the locality of Llay in Wrexham. Some employees have worked at the site in excess of 40 years – it is the only job they have ever had. Unite will do everything it can to support our members affected through these challenging times. We will assist them to access all available help with retraining through our Wales Union Learning Fund project.”