As The Grocer went to press, talks were continuing at Grampian Country Foods in an effort to avert strike action before Easter.

The meat processor assured customers they would not see deliveries affected by the strike, and that it had drawn up contingency plans to ensure products arrived on time.

A ballot of the T&G's 2,500 members at Grampian found a narrow majority in favour of strike action, which was scheduled for Thursday 5 April. It follows the breakdown of long-running talks over pay, pensions and agency workers.

Chris Kaufman, T&G national secretary for food and agriculture, said Grampian had prevaricated after an earlier ballot was suspended for a month to extend talks.

"They are now reaping in strike action what they sowed in inactivity," said Kaufman.

Grampian claimed fewer than 500 of the T&G members it employed across its sites had voted in favour of the walkout.