Job loss fears over cheap poultry imports

The
Transport and General Workers’ Union says it is concerned that the rising flow
of cheap poultry imports is putting UK jobs at risk.

The
union is to meet with the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
to register its concerns.

T&G
national secretary for agriculture, Peter Allenson, said with up to 40,000
people directly employed in poultry farming and processing, plus the knock-on
effects for cereals producers, there were real issues to address.

"At
the moment, there are consultations going on with one major turkey producer and
processor about which factory should close and how many jobs will be lost. The
difficulties that Brandon’s Poultry have in York and Derby are linked directly
to the flooding of the UK by cheap imports from Brazil.

"The
T&G is aware that this country has international trade obligations but when
we face situations like this, we would be failing our members if we did not
register our concerns and seek a government response."

The
union said that the latest jobs threat is because of "difficult trading
conditions." However, the major retailers have been sourcing frozen
turkeys from Brazil at a cost that undercuts the basic production costs in the
UK. Similar concerns have also been raised in respect of producers and
processors of chickens.

By Quentin Reade

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