OVER 400 local jobs are likely to be lost by the autumn with the news that Avara Foods is set to close its Abergavenny plant. 

The news, which the company attributes to rising costs following the pandemic, has been called a ‘major blow’ by the Welsh Government 

The Avara Foods plant which supplies supermarkets and restaurants with chicken and turkey meat  says that over the last six months it has looked at several options including different uses for the plant.

"Regretfully this process identified that volumes could be processed more efficiently in other operations and with lower capital investment," a company spokesperson said. 

"This has resulted in the proposal to close the Abergavenny site. 

"This difficult decision has not been taken lightly and in no way reflects on the hard-working colleagues."

The company says it will begin a period of consultation with the workforce in the coming days.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "We are aware of Avara's announcement, which will come as a major blow for workers and the community".

"We are in touch with the business to explore options and stand ready to support those impacted by today's news."

Avarua Foods was created  in 2018 as a 50/50 joint venture between two companies - Cargill and Faccenda, which had purchased the Abergavenny plant from turkey processor Cranberry Foods in 2012. 

It is a ‘cut and pack’ operation, predominantly preparing a range of fresh turkey products, alongside some chicken lines, for retail customers, and is staffed by around 400 employees.