Kepak Merthyr has underlined its commitment to its 850-strong workforce in Wales with a £16 million investment programme for 2023, according to the meat processing company.

Kepak has highlighted that its plant in Merthyr Tydfil contributes over £200 million each year to the local economy in wages and livestock purchase.

During a visit by Vaughan Gething, Minister for the Economy of Wales, the company confirmed its plans to create another 150 jobs and outlined how this underlines its commitment to “future growth alongside strengthening its partnerships with local suppliers”.

Minister Gething welcomed the Merthyr Tydfil investment boost and said it is “a progressive company providing opportunities for local people to develop their skills and forge a career within the food industry.”

According to Kepak Merthy’s general manager, Chris Jones, said the minister’s visit gave the company an opportunity to showcase its world-class facilities.

Jones said the company had invested more than £30 million in modernising its flagship site since it was acquired five years ago

“Sustained investment of this kind, and equipping our workforce with the skills they need to benefit from long-term career opportunities, will ensure that Kepak Merthyr not only remains a major contributor to the regional economy, but also one of the area’s most significant employers,” Jones added.

Separately farmers in South Wales farmers have highlighted the need for continued collaboration with the Welsh government today (Friday, June 1) .

Lynne Jones and his family, who run Fforch farm where they keep 300 Glamorgan Welsh mountain sheep along with 65 breeding cows, hosted a farm visit today for the Conservative member of the Senedd, Joel James.

Ian Rickman, deputy president of Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW), who also took part in the farm visit, said it welcomed the Senedd’s recent voted to include a multi-annual support plan in the Agriculture (Wales) Bill, which will provide information about how Welsh Ministers intend to provide financial support. 

“This has been a key demand of the FUW and is a provision which exists within the UK Agriculture Act.

“The inclusion of this amendment places farmers in Wales on an equal footing to those in England and gives some clarity to farmers when planning for their business’ future,” Rickman said.

Jones believes that some major opportunities have been missed in the Agriculture (Wales) Bill and said that the Sustainable Farming Scheme, currently still in development, must deliver on the shortcomings of the Bill if family farms like his are going to be a reality in Wales. 

He added: ”Family farms in Wales are the backbone of not only the community but the rural economy too.

“To make our farm viable and sustainable we have diversified with wind power and the farm shop. Without these my children would all have to leave our community to find work elsewhere. It’s vital our industry is supported to keep the next generation on our farms and in Wales.”