70 jobs under threat at Saputo cheese factory in Newcastle Emlyn Carmarthenshire
THE company which owns a cheese factory in Carmarthenshire has announced it intends to close the site with the loss of 70 jobs.
The news is a huge blow for the workers and families at the Saputo firm in Aberarad, Newcastle Emlyn.
The company, which has its headquarters in Montreal, is also closing a factory in Germany with immediate effect.
It said it was required to give 30 days consultation in the UK but said it intends to shut the Teifi Valley facility.
In a statement, Saputo said: "Since acquiring the businesses [in Wales and Germany], Saputo has aimed to penetrate the European market and get a better understanding of its realities and dynamics.
"The past few years have been a learning and challenging experience.
"Today, the Saputo European business does not have sufficient critical mass to be profitable and the Company does not see short to mid-term opportunities to ensure such profitability.
"Saputo has therefore decided to close its Germany plant and proposes the
closure of its United Kingdom facility [Newcastle Emlyn], subject to the consultation period."
Local Assembly member Rhodri Glyn Thomas it was disappointing news for the area.
He said: "Many farmers in west and south west Wales supply their goods to the plant.
"It's imperative that all options are now explored to keep operations going and to keep workers in jobs — whether this is through finding a potential buyer or through a local co-operative model.
"I will be sure to raise this with the Welsh government so that as much support as possible can be provided to the work force."