UK-based Welsh Country Foods (WCF) announced that its lamb processing business on the Island of Anglesey will close, effective immediately. The news comes following the completion of a 90-day consultation exercise with unions and workers. The move to close the plant was taken following the decision by its key customer, ASDA, to move its fresh lamb business to an alternative supplier.

“This is a very sad day for all those involved at WCF,” says Eddie Ennis, site director. “We have explored every possible avenue to avoid having to take this extremely regrettable action, but unfortunately, we have been unable to identify any viable alternative to closure of the plant. We have had extensive discussions with a number of parties who expressed interest in buying the plant, but regrettably no agreement could be reached with these parties whereby the site can continue operations on an ongoing basis. We are fully aware of the impact which this decision will have on the local economy and the community in Anglesey, but the loss of the plant’s major customer means that there is no longer a viable future for the site.”

The plant was purchased by VION Food Group in August 2008 when it acquired the Grampian Country Food Group, which formed part of the group’s red meat activities. WCF employs 310 people and has been the major processing facility for Welsh lamb in North Wales, handling 640,000 lambs per year.