Meat processor Dunbia has moved to allay fears there will be redundancies at one of its Welsh sites.
Dunbia employs around 1,100 people across three sites in the area, including 170 at a leased facility in Felinfach. Its abattoir in Llanybydder employs about 600 people, with the remainder situated at Dunbia’s Cross Hands facility.
The speculation over job losses comes after the strategic partnership and acquisition agreement between Dunbia and Dawn Meats was completed following regulatory approval. That led to concerns that sites might be closed, with a particular focus on the Felinfach facility.
The Felinfach site was opened in December 2013 to cater for a large retail contract secured at the time. It was funded by a £7.5M investment by Dunbia and a £1.8M grant from the Welsh government.
There were also reports that Jonathan Edwards, MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, and Ceredigion AM Elin Jones met with a Dunbia representative at the Welsh Assembly earlier this week.
According to a statement given to Wales Online, a Dunbia spokesperson said employment was likely to rise in the area rather than decline.
“Media speculation about planned job cuts … is inaccurate,” the spokesperson said. “We have a long-standing and proud history as a major employer in Wales, and as a supporter of Welsh farming, which we plan to continue.
“Currently we have over 1,100 staff in Wales between our three facilities, and investment is likely to see the numbers employed increase rather than decline.”
The spokesperson admitted that it was “reviewing its factory footprint in Wales”.
“Felinfach is a leased facility, while Cross Hands and Llanybydder are flagship factories owned by the group, which have both seen significant investment in recent years, and our future plans are to invest and grow these operations even further.”
The Dawn Meats and Dunbia partnership was first announced in May last year and was given regulatory approval in September. The combined UK businesses now trade as Dunbia and are managed by former Dunbia ceo Jim Dobson as ceo, and Dawn Meats ceo Niall Browne as executive chairman.