In a statement, Adams Foods, which makes brands such as Pilgrims Choice, MU and Kerrygold butter, said: “In line with its strategic business development plan, Adams Foods has implemented a focused programme of change to improve further its organisational and operational structures.”
While unfortunate for the affected individuals, the impact on staff was minimal and had been necessary to enhance operations, the firm, which is owned by the cooperative the Irish Dairy Board, claimed.
“The proposed changes will deliver greater operational and management synergies, efficiencies and service levels. A total of seven posts are affected by these changes out of a workforce of c.700.”
In addition to the seven redundancies, one person had been redeployed and four other temporary workers’ contracts had been discontinued, the company said. And FoodManufacture.co.uk understands that no further job cuts are planned.
Adams Foods has been investing in other areas of the business, with marketing director Alastair Jackson earlier this month revealing a £3M investment in its customer innovation centre, responding to customer demand for innovation in hard cheese.
Boosting hard cheese sales
The redundancies also follow the announcement in March that competition authorities had approved a partnership between Adams Foods and First Milk focused on boosting hard cheese sales.
Under the terms of the agreement, Adams Foods’s Leek site would cut, pack and market the hard cheeses, including branded Cheddars, produced at First Milk’s Lake District and Haverford West Creameries. The UK’s Office of Fair Trading and the Irish Competition Authority waved through the deal.
At the time, Adams Foods ceo Ian Toal spoke of “a £60M investment to date in the UK, including our cutting and packing facility in Leek”. The tie-up could generate as many as 100 jobs, a spokeswoman for the partnership claimed.
Read an exclusive interview with Toal in the August issue of FoodManufacture.co.uk’s sister title Food Manufacture by subscribing here.