Major food factory to close putting 400 jobs at risk
A major Welsh chicken and turkey factory is set to close, putting hundreds of jobs at risk. Avara Foods, one of the UK’s largest food production companies, has announced plans to close their Abergavenny site in Autumn 2023, citing rising costs and the Covid-19 pandemic as the cause.
Avara Foods supplies supermarkets and restaurants with chicken and turkey meat. The closure of the Abergavenny factory would impact around 400 jobs. In the coming days Avara says it will begin a collective consultation process with employees affected by this proposal.
The company said that since the Covid pandemic they have faced “significant inflationary pressure in fuel, commodities and labour” which has driven up pricing and significantly reduced demand for UK-produced turkey in the retail market.
“To maintain a competitive customer offer, Avara has started to reengineer its turkey business to operate a more efficient operational footprint focused on fewer, better invested facilities,” said an Avara spokesperson. said in a statement released a short time ago.
“Over the past six months the company has looked in depth at a range of options to enable its wider business to compete effectively in the market in the future. These included different potential uses for the Abergavenny site. Regretfully, this process identified that volumes could be processed more efficiently in other operations and with lower capital investment. This has resulted in the proposal to close the Abergavenny site.”
Avara said the decision had been a “difficult” one, which had “not been taken lightly and in no way reflects on the hard-working colleagues”.Avara employs around 7,000 staff across the UK. The Abergavenny site is a ‘cut and pack’ operation, predominantly preparing a range of fresh turkey products, alongside some chicken lines, for retail customers.