N. Ireland Politics

Farmers' union predicts 'alarm' at Linden Foods deal

Linden Foods
Image caption Linden Foods employs over 1,000 people in its food processing business

A new ownership deal at a major Northern Ireland food company will "cause some alarm", according to the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU).

ABP Food Group is to take a 50% stake in Dungannon-based meat processor Linden Foods, which employs just over 1,000 people.

Existing owner Fane Valley Co-op will continue as a joint venture partner.

"The involvement of ABP will strengthen our global sales network," said Trevor Lockhart, Fane Valley chief executive.

Caution

However, the UFU greeted the news with caution.

"ABP taking a 50% stake in Linden Foods will cause some farmers alarm and raise questions about competition," said its deputy president Victor Chestnutt.

"It is early days, but ultimately we will judge the success of this new venture on the future producer returns for cattle and sheep."

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