Vion is set to cut hundreds of jobs from its UK operations, the Dutch food processor announced yesterday.

The meat supplier said more than 800 staff faced the axe, with its Haverhill site in Suffolk set to bear the brunt of the cuts as the company shifts its abattoir and cooked meat operations to its Malton site in north Yorkshire.

A total of 470 jobs will go in Haverhill, with Malton losing 200 staff and a further 150 jobs going north of the border at Cambuslang in Lanarkshire.

"In creating dedicated facilities at Malton and Haverhill, we will also be investing in both plants to build the business," said Vion corporate affairs director Alasdair Cox.

"We regret the need for these changes in our activities announced today and have informed our employees and their union representatives of our commitment to consult with them."

Trade union Unite said it was seeking "urgent talks" with the group.

"This is very concerning as these job cuts show how vulnerable the supply chain companies in the food industry are to the demands of their clients, usually the big supermarkets," a Unite spokesman said.

Last year Vion, which employs around 14,500 staff across the country, moved into the UK poultry market after the acquisition of Grampian Country Food Group in a deal worth an estimated £400m.

In 2008 the group reported a rise in profits of around a third to €221m despite a fall in overall revenues of nearly 4% to €7.1bn.