ANGLESEY, Wales – Welsh Country Foods, a subsidiary of Vion, announced it is closing a lamb processing facility on the Island of Anglesey after Vion failed to find a buyer for the facility. The company decided to close Welsh Country Foods after its largest customer, Asda, chose a different supplier for fresh lamb.
Vion Food Group bought Welsh Country Foods in 2008 as part of the acquisition of Grampian Country Food Group. Welsh Country Foods employs 310 workers, and has been the major processing facility for Welsh lamb in North Wales, with a capacity of 640,000 lambs per year.
“This is a very sad day for all those involved at WCF,” said Eddie Ennis, site director at Welsh Country Foods. “We have explored every possible avenue to avoid having to take this extremely regrettable action but, unfortunately, we have been unable to identify any viable alternative to closure of the plant.
“We have had extensive discussions with a number of parties who expressed interest in buying the plant but regrettably no agreement could be reached with these parties whereby the site can continue operations on an ongoing basis,” Ennis added. “We are fully aware of the impact which this decision will have on the local economy and the community in Anglesey but the loss of the plant’s major customer means that there is no longer a viable future for the site.”
Vion announced in November 2012 plans to sell off its food operations in the United Kingdom to focus on its global ingredients business and core food businesses in The Netherlands and Germany.