China has announced that more than 1,000 jobs are to go at crispy seaweed production plants, mostly in Shanghai and in coastal towns bordering the East China Sea. The cuts, finely chopped, have been blamed on cheap imports of Welsh laverbread.
Workers at ‘Want Want China Holdings’ are now calling for urgent action to prevent millions of job losses in the crispy seaweed industry, losses that will have a knock-on effect for billions of other Chinese workers and their communities. The production of stainless steel woks, Chinese cleavers and Waving Lucky Fortune Cats are all said to be under threat.
The Welsh laverbread industry has gone from strength to strength with global warming seen as contributing to a glut of seaweed along the Welsh coastline. Daffyd Jones, company director of Cardiff based ‘Llangrubup Food Holdings’ said: ‘Ironically the onset of industrialization in China and the rise in carbon emissions has totally worked in our favour producing thousands of miles of seaweed that chokes and winds its way up from Port Talbot and Tenby, through to Barmouth and Rhyl. We’ve got so much now that we’ve cornered the market for years to come and made Chinese crispy seaweed worthless. Isn’t it?’
In a statement to the Welsh Parliament, Industry Minister, Edwina Hart said: ‘Don’t let on but actually the Chinese use cabbage to make crispy seaweed so this is a bit of a steel’.