Up to 30 workers could be at risk of losing their jobs at Inverurie based Scotch Premier Meat, after owners ANM Group announced plans to consult with the workforce over possible redundancies.
Staff at the group’s Meat Division were told of the news on Thursday by Managing Director Jim Jaffray. The Group says that the consultation process, which begins immediately, will look at possible ways of avoiding or reducing the number of redundancies.
The Scotch Premier Meat plant in Inverurie’s North Street currently employs 159 staff. If redundancies are necessary, those affected could leave the business by early June.
ANM Group Chief Executive Pat Machray said the move was necessary in order to put the troubled meat operation back on course.
“This is the start of the process to make our meat operation more efficient and more effective”, he said. “I said at our AGM that there were no easy answers and unfortunately these actions are necessary to help put Scotch Premier Meat back on a sound footing. I regret this involves peoples’ livelihoods but have no choice in the current climate.”
Mr Jaffray added: “We are remodelling the business into a shape that makes it more competitive in the current marketplace. We are confident we can return the business to a sustainable operation, although unfortunately this does involve looking at our staffing costs.”
ANM Group made losses of £2.5m in the year to December 2011, of which £1.79m related to the meat division. Although the group has since sold its ‘Charcuterie’ cooked meats business and closed a loss-making plant in Sheffield, the company says it needs to further reduce its operating costs in the face of continuing difficult trading conditions.