Tayside and Central Scotland

Jobs threat at Vion processing plant in Coupar Angus

generic chicken processing plant
Image caption The company has invested millions of pounds at the processing plant

More than 100 jobs are at risk at a poultry processing plant after the company announced it wanted to "re-structure" its operations.

Food group Vion said the changes could potentially result in redundancies at the Coupar Angus plant, which the company bought in 2008.

Despite multi-million pound investment at the factory, the site is still operating at a loss, according to Vion.

A spokesman for the company said they "regretted" having to make the changes.

About 150 new jobs were created at the facility in August 2010 following the investment programme. And the workforce at Coupar Angus has grown from less than 600 to more than 1,100 over the past three years.

But the company said 115 posts were now under threat as the trading outlook for the plant remained "challenging".

Government grant

Andrew Fisher, Vion Poultry's regional director for Scotland, said: "We regret the need for these proposed changes in our activities announced today, and we have informed our employees of our commitment to consult with them and their trade union.

"We are committed to the consultation process being as productive as possible, and we will be looking for every opportunity to minimise job losses.

"The business will be listening to, and investigating all alternative proposals, and will take every step to support all employees during this difficult period."

Last August, Vion received a Scottish Enterprise grant of £650,000 to help safeguard jobs at its Cambuslang factory.

Perthshire North MSP John Swinney said he had "sought assurances" from the company that it would do everything it could for staff at Coupar Angus.

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser said the announcement was a "blow" to staff and the local community.

He added: "Less than two years ago, we saw a large investment at Coupar Angus and this investment in the town and the skilled staff means that Coupar Angus is one of Vion's best assets.

"It is vital that Vion keep all employees fully involved in discussions and how best to take forward proposals for the future of the Coupar Angus facility."

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