2 Sisters’ proposal could create more than 200 jobs

By Lorraine Mullaney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food group, Meat, Wales

2 Sisters may create 200 chicken processing jobs in Anglesey
2 Sisters may create 200 chicken processing jobs in Anglesey
2 Sisters Food Group has proposed the creation of a second shift at a Welsh chicken processing site it bought from Vion, which could create more than 200 jobs.

The food group, owned by Ranjit Boparan, bought the loss-making site​ in Llangefni in Anglesey from Vion in March, along with 10 other sites.

Around 280 workers are currently employed at Llangefni. 2 Sisters said its priority would be to secure the future of the existing jobs at the site before creating the additional roles.

A spokesman for 2 Sisters said: “We’re exploring a proposal at Llangefni, which could lead to additional jobs at the site in time. However, this remains a proposal at this stage, and is subject to consultation in changing shift patterns on site.

‘Very challenging market conditions’

“The Vion Poultry business faced a very uncertain and unviable future prior to 2 Sisters’ intervention last month. It continues to see very challenging market conditions and will need significant effort from all stakeholders in order to secure a more viable future.”

2 Sisters will consult with the union Unite over the introduction of new shift patterns and the running of the second shift.

A joint statement by general manager Stuart Deal and Unite regional organiser Paddy McNaught said: “The company have met with representatives from the Unite union to begin a 45-day consultation period (with a view of reaching agreement) over a proposed move to a double shift. Subject to agreement, these changes are expected to generate in excess of 200 job opportunities at the Llangefni site.

“The union welcomed the positive move by 2 Sisters Food Group at a time when job opportunities on Anglesey are greatly needed. They also committed to working in partnership with the company to facilitate the operational changes to secure the site’s future.”

Positive move by 2 Sisters

When 2 Sisters bought Vion’s poultry and red meat businesses in March the sale did not include the Welsh Country Foods lamb abattoir in Gaerwen. As a result the site closed earlier this month after failing to secure a buyer.

The 11 former Vion processing sites employ approximately 6,000 staff and supply poultry, beef and lamb to the retail and foodservice sectors in the UK and Europe. The poultry business in particular has suffered from challenging trading conditions, with the loss of a number of major contracts.

Announcing the acquisition, Boparan said: “Our immediate focus will be to improve performance, as we have successfully done with our previous acquisitions.”

Julian Wild, food group director with Rollits told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Boparan has a great reputation for running a lean business. He’s very good at taking cost out by a whole variety of means: he buys better and he’s not a great one for big head offices, he runs his businesses very leanly. They can expect some pretty major cost savings​.”

City analyst Clive Black of Shore Capital said the acquisition had “brought a disciplined owner to these factory units”​.

He also noted the potential for 2 Sisters to capitalise on the horsemeat scandal, to which retailers have responded by making moves towards shorter supply chains.

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