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Last Updated: Monday, 28 November 2005, 16:26 GMT
Urgent talks held at cheese plant
Cheese packing at Dairygold Consumer Foods Plant UK, Felinfach
The firm blames fierce competition for the threatened closure
A mid Wales MP has held urgent talks with a director of a cheese packing factory under threat of closure.

Ceredigion MP Mark Williams met Donal McCarthy of Dairygold Consumer Foods Plant UK in Felinfach, near Lampeter.

The plant could shut with the loss of 115 jobs. A 12-week consultation period started on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Farmers' Union of Wales has urged the Welsh Assembly Government to "exhaust all avenues" in its bid to save the plant.

Last Thursday, Wales' Rural Affairs Minister Carwyn Jones met senior management at the factory.

Mr Williams also met management and workers last week. After Monday's meeting with the firm he said he had written to Mr Jones and Welsh Secretary Peter Hain.

Mark Williams MP, Ceredigion (Lib Dem)
I left Mr McCarthy in no doubt as to this factory's importance to the local community
Mark Williams MP

Of his meeting with the company, Mr Williams said: "I left Mr McCarthy in no doubt as to this factory's importance to the local community.

"There are 115 jobs at Felinfach, and 80% of the employees live in the Aeron Valley, so to lose this factory would be a terrible economic and social blow for the local community.

"I believe Dairygold have a responsibility to them (local people), and to the local community, particularly is light of the 1m of public money the company received when setting the plant up."

The 3m packing plant was originally built by the Welsh Development Agency for the Aeron Valley Cheese Company with more than 1m of public money.

Eifion Hughes, chairman of the Farmers' Union of Wales' milk and dairy produce committee, said: "Following the expenditure of so much public money to help set it up, taxpayers are entitled to ask why this plant is under threat so soon after it began operating."

Mr Jones said last week that if the closure decision is taken the Welsh Assembly Government and its partners would do "all they can to try and secure a future for the plant."


SEE ALSO:
Cheese plans bring fresh jobs
21 Oct 99 |  Wales


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