More than 100 jobs are at risk after a food group announced plans to transfer work from a Cumbria frozen sausage plant to Hull.
Vion Food Group Ltd is proposing to shift work from its plant in Shap. A 90-day consultation period has now started with the 118 staff.
It said it was down to an increasingly competitive market place and the need to streamline its operations.
Eden District Council said it was devastating news for the rural area.
Vion director of corporate affairs Alasdair Cox said: "We very much regret the need for these changes in our activities announced today and have informed our employees of our commitment to consult with them.
"The commitment from the team at Shap has never been in question."
It said it would be consulting with those affected to look at ways of avoiding redundancies, including transfers to other sites within the company.
Eden District Council economy portfolio holder Councillor Glenys Lumley said: "This is devastating news for a rural area such as Shap, which has already borne some of the brunt of jobs losses in Eden during the economic downturn.
"The council is working with its partner agencies to see how it can best help the local staff who may be affected by offering assistance with retraining, advice on the availability of benefits and the availability of suitable alternative employment."