TYSON FOODS is to close its meat and poultry production plant in Wrexham, North Wales, at the end of September.
The subsidiary of the US protein giant confirmed the closure in early September according to the Union Unite, resulting in the loss of 71 jobs.
Tyson told Poultry.Network it was still exploring a sale, and that putting the proposal forward had been “a very difficult decision”.
“It was based on a combination of factors including our ability to generate profitable growth and our need to adapt to shifting customer needs,” a spokesperson added.
“We are currently consulting with our team members in Wrexham about the proposal to discontinue operations on 30 September 2020.”
The facility was bought from BRF last year in a transaction that saw Tyson Foods take on a number of European, UK and Thai production facilities.
At the time, Tyson said the reason behind the purchase was to help access new markets and capitalise on growth outside the United States.
Unite Wales regional officer Jo Goodchild said the union had been in consultation with Tyson Foods over the past month, and it had been hoped a buyer might be found for the site.
“This is devastating news for a loyal and dedicated workforce,” Ms Goodchild said on the closure of the facility. “The economy of North East Wales has seen a succession of large-scale redundancies in recent months and today’s news is more bad news for the local area.
“This site was first opened in 1962 under Frimbo Foods and is one of the main employers in the locality of Llay in Wrexham.
“Some employees have worked at the site in excess of 40 years – it is the only job they have ever had.
“Unite will do everything it can to support our members affected through these challenging times.
“We will assist them to access all available help with retraining through our Wales Union Learning Fund project.”
Tyson Foods has been approached for comment.