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Vion's plan to close pork facility threatens 1,700 jobs in Scotland

6 July 2012

Vion Food UK has announced that it may close its loss-making Hall's of Broxburn pork processing plant in West Lothian, Scotland, UK, potentially putting over 1,700 jobs at risk.

The company said that the plant continued to register losses despite significant investments and major restructuring exercises over the past four years.

It has blamed the complexity and inefficient layout of the plant, tough market conditions, and over-capacity in the UK meat industry for the losses.

Vion Food UK chairman Peter Barr said that even though several steps were taken to secure the future of the business, the company is currently losing £79,000 per day at the site.

"There is significant over-capacity in the UK meat industry and market conditions are extremely challenging," Barr added.

"There is significant over-capacity in the UK meat industry and market conditions are extremely challenging."

The company has initiated a 90-day consultation exercise with workers and unions at the site, and if the exercise does not result in an alternative solution, Vion will shift a portion of work from the site to its other plants in the UK, which may help secure jobs.

However, the supply of a majority of the products currently handled by the plant will be stopped.

Hall's of Broxburn was acquired by Vion Food in August 2008, when it purchased the struggling food firm Grampian Country Food. The facility employs 1,150 permanent and 595 agency staff, and handles 8,000 pigs each week.

Vion Food UK is part of the Netherlands-based Vion and produces and processes beef, lamb, pork and chicken, as well as a range of sausages, cooked meats and other convenience products.