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Welsh Bros Foods 'shocked' at reported horsemeat find

Welsh Bros Foods says it is 'deeply shocked' that a sample of its frozen minced beef has reportedly tested positive for horsemeat.

Welsh Bros Foods regrets to announce that late yesterday afternoon we were informed that a formal sample of our frozen free flow minced beef has been reported to have potentially tested positive for above 1% horse meat. We have not as yet had formal confirmation on this result; however, we have taken the decision to notify our customers of this issue immediately, and issue a withdraw notice for this product.

Welsh Bros Foods are deeply shocked by this development and are working with all relevant authorities.

– Welsh Bros Foods spokesperson

The firm said the affected batch was produced nearly three months ago and other samples have reportedly tested negative for horsemeat, adding: "We therefore believe at this stage that this is an isolated incident."

Tests 'reveal horsemeat' in Pembrokeshire minced beef

Pembrokeshire County Council has withdrawn mince from its menus after being told a batch of frozen minced beef has potentially tested positive for horsemeat.

The mince was supplied by Welsh Bros Foods of Newport, Gwent, and was used by the council for schools, day centres and residential homes.

The council says it has also been made aware that frozen beef products supplied to Sodexo – a company providing catering services to the authority's privately-financed initiative school in Pembroke Dock – has tested positive for horsemeat.

Sodexo has withdrawn all frozen beef products from its UK catering operations.

Company interested in buying milk from local farmers

The Assembly Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Rhodri Glyn Thomas, says he has been contacted by South Caernarfon Creameries which have expressed an interest in purchasing milk from local farmers.

Mr Thomas said the move was "encouraging" and that he had contacted local farming unions to bring the development to their attention.

I am today meeting with the Welsh Government’s Minister for Business to discuss the options available to secure the future of the factory and its employees.

Ultimately I want to ensure the highest possible retention of employment within the Newcastle Emlyn area and will continue to do all I can to stop as many job losses as possible.

– Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM

Closure a double blow, warns Farmers' Union of Wales

The closure of a Carmarthenshire cheese factory will push down the milk price paid to local farmers, the FUW has warned. It says the loss of the Saputo factory at Newcastle Emlyn, would be a 'hammer blow' both to the farmers who supply it and to the 70 employees who will lose their jobs.

The union fears that if a buyer is not found for the factory, more Welsh milk will be sent many miles to be turned into cheese or milk powder in England. Less money will be paid to farmers and more spent on haulage costs.

That doesn't make any sense at a time when consumers are increasingly seeking to buy more and more local food and drink. Closure of the factory will be a huge blow to the workers there and to its milk suppliers who will have to seek alternative buyers for their produce at such short notice. It will create downward pressure on the price they can expect to receive in the future.

– FUW vice president Brian Walters

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70 jobs at risk as cheese factory closes

70 jobs are at risk after the Canadian company Saputo announced it was closing its Newcastle Emlyn cheese plant. The company has said there will be a 30-day consultation.

The union, NFU Cymru, said the news was a "big blow" to the area because Saputo was "a major employer in a very rural area of Wales."

This is a major worry for farmer suppliers of this company as they enter what will undoubtedly be a period of uncertainty for their business. Many will have been through difficult times previously with Dansco, stayed loyal to the plant and to the new owners, but will see this as a real kick in the teeth that after only a few years in Newcastle Emlyn Saputo looks like it is now pulling out, obviously leaving them in the difficult situation of finding a new purchaser for their milk.

– Stephen James, NFU Cymru Deputy President

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