Hopes for factory
EIGHT different companies have expressed an interest in taking over business from the troubled Saputo cheese factory in Aberarad, Newcastle Emlyn.
It was revealed last week that 70 jobs are under threat at the firm after the Canadian owners announced they intend closing the factory after a 30-day consultation.
Farmers who supply milk to the company have also been offered a lifeline by a North Wales creamery looking to recruit for new producers.
Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas has been in talks with the Welsh Government and many of the companies to find a buyer.
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He said yesterday to the Journal: "Since Saputo entered a consultation with its staff regarding closure of the factory, I and my office have had several conversations with both farming unions and with parties interested in the site.
"Following my urgent meeting with the Welsh Government's Minister for Business and raising the closure on the floor of the National Assembly, I understand there have now been eight expressions of interest in buying the factory and/or purchasing milk from local farmers.
"This is very encouraging and I will continue to monitor the progress of these discussions with a view to securing the future of the factory and its employees."
A farmers' co-operative called South Caernarfon Creameries is also holding a meeting at Newcastle Emlyn Rugby Club at 8pm next Wednesday (March 13).
The organisation said it is looking for milk suppliers to join them to meet extra demand for a multi-million-pound contract.
The news that Saputo intends closing the Newcastle Emlyn factory was met with shock last week. The company stepped in to buy the factory in 2006 from Dansco.
However, it said the business was no longer profitable and it has also closed another factory in Germany.