1. ITV Report

3,000 meat processing jobs saved

The owners of three meat processing plants in Wales say that more than 3,000 jobs have been safeguarded with its sale to a Birmingham based company. The Dutch firm Vion say they have agreed to sell the plant to 2 Sisters Food Group.

The deal includes a plant in Merthyr Tydfil and Sandycroft in Flintshire, both employing more than 1,300 staff. A further 300 people work at a poultry processing plant in Llangefni that has also been sold.

The deal does not affect the Welsh Country Foods factory on Anglesey which is also owned by Vion where 350 people are employed at lamb processing plant.

In November the company said that it had put its UK based businesses, which employ 6,000 workers, up for sale. Vion say they are focussing on their activities in the Netherlands and Germany.

Ranjit Singh, Chief Executive of 2 Sisters Food Group, said “We are delighted to be acquiring VION’s UK’s poultry and red meat businesses. They have faced significant uncertainty and tough trading in recent months, but today’s acquisition secures a viable future."

The Welsh Business Minister has welcomed a deal to save more than 3,000 jobs at three meat processing plants in Wales. Edwina Hart said that deal would help to sustain the future for the workers and the supply chain in Wales.

I welcome today's announcement that 2 Sisters is to acquire VION’s poultry and red meat businesses, which safeguards the future of their operations in Wales. We have been working closely with both VION and 2 Sisters to help secure this deal in order to sustain the future for the workers and the supply chain in Wales.

– Edwina Hart AM, Welsh Business Minister

The president of NFU Cymru Ed Bailey says he is pleased by the news that the sale of three meat processing plants to 2 Sisters Food Group have been completed. His comments follow the announcement by the Birmingham company that they will buy factories in Merthyr Tydfil, Sandycroft and Llangefni.

The Union has already been in touch with both 2 Sisters and Vion to ensure a smooth transition for farmer suppliers.

Whilst this is good news for many, concern still remains over the future of Welsh Country Foods. We hope efforts can now be re-doubled to secure a purchaser for this plant to the benefit of employees at Welsh Country Foods, the local economy and farmers who supply the plant.

– Ed Bailey, NFU Cymru President

2 Sisters Food Group currently owns 35 manufacturing sites in the UK, Ireland, Holland and Poland. The company based in Birmingham has annual sales of over £2.3bn with customers including Aldi, Asda and Harrods.

The company was established in 1993 by Ranjit Singh and remains privately owned.

It began as a small scale frozen retail cutting operation, but has grown to employ 18,000 people serving the retail, foodservice and manufacturing sectors.

The firm produces a number of branded products including Buxted, Devonshire Red, Fox’s Biscuits, Goodfella’s Pizza, Matthew Walker Christmas puddings and Green Isle vegetables.