Avara Foods announces proposals on closing its Newent facility

Avara Foods announces proposals on closing its Newent facility

Meat processor Avara Foods has announced a proposal to shut its Newent factory in Spring 2024 after facing inflationary pressures and rising overhead costs.

The Avara Newent facility office.

Avara Foods is one of the UK’s largest food businesses, supplying chicken and turkey to the nation’s biggest supermarkets and restaurant chains. Established in 2018 as a 50/50 joint venture between Cargill and Faccenda, the company operates a fully integrated supply chain across agriculture, processing and distribution, with approximately
6,000 employees.

The Newent facility, previously known as Freemans of Newent, was part of the joint venture between Cargill and Faccenda in 2018. It is a primary processing, cut and pack operation, predominantly preparing a range of fresh chicken products, primarily for food service customers, and is staffed by around 320 employees.

The proposed closure of the facility comes as a result of the implementation of more efficient operations, after the processor decided to focus its business plan on delivering a “sustainable poultry model”. Avara said that closure of the Newent facility will “enable Avara to continue providing all its customers with high levels of service, investment and innovation”.

It has faced inflationary pressure in fuel, commodities and labour over the past two years, and while it reports that some price increases have been achieved, they have not been sufficient to mitigate the full impact of rising costs on the processor’s margins.

Avara has already taken steps to offset inflation, including closing its Abergavenny facility. However, it has recognised the need to take further action to continue to deliver a fifth of UK produced chicken every week.

The processor will begin a collective consultation process with the individuals that are affected by this proposal. The nature of this consultation means that no final decisions have been made and there will be no speculation as to how the process will conclude.

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