Vion stands by ‘regrettable’ factory closure

By Graham Holter

- Last updated on GMT

Vion stands by ‘regrettable’ factory closure
Vion Food Group is standing by its decision to close its poultry processing plant near Doncaster despite pressure from a local MP to reconsider.

Former minister Caroline Flint, Labour MP for Don Valley, said that the Thorne factory should ideally be kept open, or sold to another food processor to protect jobs.

The factory is expected to close next week when Vion transfers its activities to Perthshire.

The move involves 170 redundancies, although some of the 250 employees affected will stay at the site as part of the head office team; others will be retained to manage the site closure.

Put community first

Flint has met Vion officials in recent weeks and said the company “has a responsibility to the many families from Thorne and Doncaster that have contributed to its success over the years”.

She told the local media: “It is very sad that Vion can no longer support their factory in Thorne, which has a long history of producing chickens and other food we find on every major supermarket shelf each week.

“The company did state in their letter to me that they were ‘investigating alternative proposals’ and I took that to mean looking for potential buyers for the factory.

“I know they have had at least one firm offer from a firm in their industry and I am lobbying Vion to put the community and jobs first and strike a deal to keep this factory open.”

Unviable site

Vion said the site was unviable because of its lack of proximity to bird breeders and the amount of investment required to keep it in line with hygiene and environmental regulations.

A spokesman told he was unable to comment on any discussions about the sale of the plant.

He added: “Following the announcement there was a consultation process, but regrettably no viable alternative was found and the plant will be closing. It is envisaged this will be at the end of next week.”

Vion confirmed recently that it will also close its Sheffield sausage processing plant​, with the company's sausage facilities consolidated one site in Broxburn, Scotland.

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