Alasdair Cox, director of corporate affairs, said “Vion has a clear commitment to build its UK business and sausages continue to be part of our core product offer.
"However, it is crucial to establish sound foundations upon which we can grow the UK business and the proposed changes will provide a stronger platform upon which Vion can satisfy both customer and consumer demands. "
Staff were notified of the proposals today and Vion has entered into a 90-day consultation period with the 118 people affected. The company has pledged to explore ways to avoid redundancies, including transfers to other sites within the wider Vion company
"We very much regret the need for these changes in our activities announced today and have informed our employees of our commitment to consult with them. The commitment from the team at Shap has never been in question," Cox added.
The plan to close the Cumbria plant is the latest in a series of changes resulting from Vion’s review of business operations last year. The company has already made hundreds of meat processing staff redundant in Lancashire, Suffolk and Yorkshire.