Vion Foods proposes Thorne site closure

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Proposal Proposals

Vion Foods proposes Thorne site closure
Vion Food UK is proposing to close its Thorne poultry processing site near Doncaster after identifying several acute operational difficulties.

255 jobs (201 production and 54 head office roles) are potentially at risk if plans are pushed through to consolidate production at more efficient existing sites in Sandycroft (North Wales) and Coupar Angus in Perthshire.

A spokesman for the company, which is headquartered in The Netherlands, said in a statement: “As widely reported, the marketplace continues to be extremely challenging, with increasing feed and fuel costs, and intense competition requiring an ever-greater focus on efficiency.

Specific problems identified by Vion include a lack of contract growers close to the Thorne facility, which “limits its maximum kill”​ and prevents it working at capacity

Site investment not viable

This also meant that significant volumes of birds had to be transported each week from farms as far away as southern Scotland, he added. Furthermore, the site needed “significant investment”​ over the next five years to comply with health, safety, environmental and hygiene legislation.

Peter Miller, md of Vion’s poultry business unit said the closure was 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 ​[90-day] 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.”

The latest news follows Vion’s announcement in late April that it was beginning a 90-day consultation with staff​ at a sausage processing plant in Sheffield, that could lead to the loss of up to 205 further jobs.

Related topics Meat, poultry & seafood

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