News that a deal has been reached for the sale of the chicken processing plant in Coupar Angus has been welcomed in the East Perthshire town.
Dutch-based food producer VION announced on Monday this week that it had sold the facility – along with 10 other plants across the UK – to the 2 Sisters Food Group.
The sale of VION’s UK food operations was first made public in November last year, raising fears in East Perthshire that the factory, which employs around 1000 people, could be closed down.
Chair of Coupar Angus and Bendochy Community Council, Duncan Kettles, declared: “This is absolutely brilliant news and I hope that the buyers can keep the plant going for the benefit of the workers and the town as a whole. If that factory wasn’t there, it would have a huge negative impact on the wider region, affecting lots of people and businesses.”
Local councillor Alan Grant, while pleased with the news, expressed a note of caution.
He told the Blairie: “This news is a great relief to everyone involved. I just hope that they can maintain employment numbers at their current levels.”
North Tayside MSP John Swinney said: “Scottish Government officials will work with 2 Sisters over the coming months in order to secure a strong future for the plant in Scotland.
“This is a time of significant opportunity in building the food sector in Scotland and the involvement of 2 Sisters assists with this process.
“Scottish produce is of excellent quality and this decision is a significant confidence boost for the sector. The Coupar Angus plant has much to offer the industry.”
Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, added: “This has been a period of great uncertainty for the Coupar Angus workforce and I am very pleased that this has been resolved so positively.”
Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser said he hoped the move would result in the long term sustainability of jobs in Coupar Angus.
He said: “The recent horsemeat scandal has shown that consumers want to know what’s on their plates and where it comes from. In Scotland producers have the opportunity to provide outstanding quality and traceability which is now desired by consumers. 2 Sisters’ acquisition of the Coupar Angus plant will give the company a massive share of the Scottish poultry meat business which will hopefully sustain production at Coupar Angus for the foreseeable future.”
Ranjit Singh, chief executive of the 2 Sisters Food Group, said: “We are delighted to be acquiring VION’s UK’s poultry and red meat businesses.
“They have faced significant uncertainty and tough trading in recent months, but today’s acquisition secures a viable future. Our immediate focus will be to improve performance, as we have successfully done with our previous acquisitions.”
Peter Barr, chairman of VION UK, said: “We would like to thank all of our employees for their support and commitment to the business during these challenging times and to wish the 2 Sisters team every success.”