Vion sausage plant at risk of closure

Vion is to restructure its sausage processing business – a move that could lead to the loss of 205 jobs.

The company has proposed that its operation in Sheffield is transferred to Vion Hall’s in Broxburn, West Lothian, which it claimed offered potential for further expansion.

The company has entered into a statutory 90-day consultation period in which alternatives will be investigated, including the possibilities of workers moving or transferring to other sites in the north of England.

Steve Francis, managing director of Vion’s UK pork business unit, said: “We regret the need for these changes in our activities announced today and have informed our employees and their union representatives of our commitment to consult with them. We are intent that consultation will be as productive as possible, and we will be looking for every opportunity to mitigate against job losses.

“The business will be listening and investigating all alternative proposals and will take every step to support all employees during this difficult period. The commitment from the team at Sheffield has never been in question.”

Vion cited a challenging trading climate and fierce competition as the reason for the restructuring. The Sheffield site had been operating below capacity.

Rob Smith, Vion’s group communications controller, said: “The economic trading climate and fierce competition is not peculiar to us or to the sector as a whole. A contribution of those two things means even greater focus on operating as efficiently as possible.”

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