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West Wales jobs 'good news' for Welsh food industry

The Economy Minister, Edwina Hart, has welcomed news that more than 200 jobs are to be created in West Wales, with support from the Welsh Government, at a new beef processing and packing facility, as part of a major contract with supermarket giant Sainsbury’s.

Dunbia is investing £7.5m to create 208 jobs at Felinfach, near Lampeter, with support from a £1.8m business finance grant from the Welsh Government.

The Minister said:

I am delighted that support from the Welsh Government ensured this investment came to Wales and will create jobs in the rural economy. It is good news for the Welsh food industry, the farming community and Ceredigion. The announcement of job losses at Sharp, near Wrexham, earlier this week was a stark reminder of just how volatile the economy remains. Dunbia is already a significant employer in rural Wales and a major player in the red meat sector which was worth £595million to the Welsh economy in 2012 .

This investment supports Welsh Government policies and initiatives to increase added value processing of agricultural produce in Wales to ensure the benefits are retained in Wales and help create jobs and spread prosperity. I am also pleased to hear of the training schedule and skills development programme proposed by Dunbia and the company’s commitment to developing their staff.

– Edwina Hart AM, Economy Minister

200 jobs created at beef processing and packing plant

More than 200 jobs are to be created in West Wales with support from the Welsh Government at a new beef processing and packing facility as part of a major contract with supermarket giant Sainsbury’s.

Dunbia is investing £7.5m to create 208 jobs at Felinfach, near Lampeter, with support from a £1.8m business finance grant from the Welsh Government.

The new facility is to be operational by February 2014.

The news was announced today by Economy Minister Edwina Hart on a visit to Ceredigion.


Flood prevention measures tested in Tal-y-bont

One of the villages hit by severe flooding last June is at the centre of an emergency exercise this weekend, to see if new flood protection measures can prevent such an event happening again.

Volunteers in Tal-y-bont in Ceredigion are re-enacting a flood scenario, with residents checking if they can install flood gates quickly, and with a trial of the roles members of the community will play in an emergency.

Over the last 12 months we've been working closely with volunteers from the community to develop a plan which captures all the important information and actions they need to take if a flood warning is issued.

We can't prevent all flooding from happening, but if floods were to threaten the area again in the future, the hard work these volunteers have put in now will mean that they are better placed to respond and protect their homes.

– Simone Eade, Natural Resources Wales

Once the exercise is complete agencies will work together to identify areas where the flood plan can be strengthened. Natural Resources Wales say a new flood warning service for the village is due to go live in Autumn 2014.

Wales farmer attacked by stag dies in hospital

A Ceredigion farmer who was attacked by a stag has died in hospital.

Kenneth Price, 75, was attacked on his Mountain Hall farm at Saron, Llandysul, last Wednesday.

The Wales Air Ambulance crew performed surgery at the scene, and Mr Price was then airlifted to Morriston Hospital in Swansea in a critical condition, with multiple serious injuries.

An investigation into Mr Price's death will be formally opened by the local coroner.

The Health and Safety Executive said it was aware of the incident and was making initial inquiries.


'Unsustainable pressure' on Arriva buses

Arriva buses have cited "spiralling fuel costs" and "unsustainable financial pressure" as part of the reasons for proposing the closure of various sites across Wales.

"It is with regret we propose that Arriva Buses Wales’ Aberystwyth depot, New Quay, Lampeter and Dolgellau outstations will close on the 21 December 2013, subject to a consultation period with staff.

"The period of instability regarding public transport funding and potential forthcoming changes to the Concessionary Fares Scheme, together with spiralling fuel costs has resulted in an unsustainable financial pressure on our Aberystwyth operations. A recent network review has lead us to believe that current services in this area cannot, despite our best efforts, continue.

"Services 20, 40, 40C, 50, 585 and X94 would be affected by the closure, with the proposed last day of operation being 21 December 2013. Due to contractual arrangements service 585 would continue to operate until 15 February 2014. We have notified the local authority of our intentions.

"The proposed closure may unfortunately result in staff losses, and we are currently in consultation with the 46 staff who would be affected."

– Arriva Buses Wales

Concerns over Arriva buses jobs threat

The Unite union has raised concerns over proposals by Arriva buses to cut up to 46 jobs across sites in Wales.

“We’re clearly disappointed by [the] decision by Arriva to look at a number of closures that would result in people losing their jobs. This is a worrying development for our members effected who will now face great uncertainty in what are already financially trying times.

"Going forward we are focused on working towards the best possible outcome for our members that are potentially impacted by today’s announcement.”

– Tony Brady, Unite Wales officer

Meat supplied by Ceredigion processing plant recalled

Farmbox Meats Ltd was forced to close in February after an investigation into horsemeat, but restrictions were later lifted.

The Food Standards Agency has ordered the recall of meat supplied by a Ceredigion processing plant which was investigated in the horsemeat scandal.

It says Farmbox Meats has supplied frozen lamb, beef and mutton trim that has not been subject to proper temperature controls and that does not comply with traceability rules.

The plant at Llandre stopped trading in June.

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