Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Food firm Vion cutting 820 jobs

Sausages
Some of the job cuts are in the cooked meat and abbatoir businesses

The Dutch-owned food group Vion is cutting 820 jobs throughout the group.

Of the jobs going, 470 will be lost at its Haverhill site in Suffolk, 200 at Malton in North Yorkshire and 150 at Cambuslang in Lanarkshire.

The Scottish jobs are a result of the loss of some of its business supplying deli products and ready meals to Marks and Spencer.

The remaining jobs are due to the restructuring of its abattoir and cooked meats businesses.

Vion, which employs 14,500 workers in the UK, said the redundancies were due to over-capacity in the UK meat processing sector.

The company plans to close its abattoir, butchery and parts of its retail operations at Haverhill and transfer them to Malton.

At the same time, all cooked meat production will move from Malton to Haverhill.

A spokesman for the trade union Unite said: "Unite is seeking urgent talks with the Vion Group. Our priority is to resist compulsory redundancies and safeguard jobs.

"This is very concerning as these job cuts show how vulnerable the supply chain companies in the food industry are to the demands of their clients, usually the big supermarkets."

Alasdair Cox, Vion's director of corporate affairs, said: "In creating dedicated facilities at Malton and Haverhill, we will also be investing in both plants to build the business.

"We regret the need for these changes in our activities announced today and have informed our employees and their union representatives of our commitment to consult with them."



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