Vion rejects two final offers for its Broxburn plant

Vion rejects two final offers for its Broxburn plant

Vion has confirmed today, 15th October, that it has rejected two offers for its Broxburn site as they were not viable.

Vion’s UK chariman, Peter Barr said: “Regrettably, having reviewed both offers over the weekend, we have been forced to conclude that neither of these proposals constitutes a viable and sustainable alternative to the proposed closure of the plant.

“In neither instance were we assured that either offer provided a guarantee of ongoing employment for the workforce, in spite of the fact that Vion was prepared to offer substantial financial assistance to support the acquisition.

“Consequently, it is with great regret that we can confirm that it is our intention to proceed with plans for a phased closure of the plant.

“As previously outlined, this will mean that some areas will cease production later this month with full closure expected to take place by February 2013.

“We have already had detailed discussions with our employees and their union representatives to brief them fully on details of the enhanced redundancy terms on offer to them and to outline our plans to support them in the coming months.”

QMS response

Jim McLaren, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland, said: “While today’s news is clearly very disappointing it brings to an end an unwelcome period of uncertainty about the future of Vion’s Broxburn site.

“The Scottish pig industry must now move forward into a new chapter which will see the opportunity  to restructure pig processing in Scotland from which I am confident the industry will emerge even stronger and sharper.

“The planned closure of the site, confirmed by Vion this afternoon, must be seen as an opportunity for a step change in the structure of the Scottish pig industry and pig producers must take heart from the prospect of a new and more efficient supply chain.

“Our discussions with a number of the operators of other plants currently processing pigs have proved promising. I am optimistic about the potential for these companies to absorb a significant portion of the pig processing capacity currently undertaken at Broxburn, taking advantage of the  Specially Selected Pork brand which is currently generating record consumer awareness. Clearly retailer support is also vital at this time.

“We will now continue to work closely with these companies and with the Scottish Government and others, including NFU Scotland, to ensure these opportunities are fully developed as soon as possible.”

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