As part of the proposal, Ornua expected to see the majority of the 90 staff employed at Whitchurch moved to its Nantwich cheese ingredients facility. However, it is to hold consultation with staff to reduce the number of redundancies that would potentially occur as a result of the move.
Commenting on the proposed closure, managing director Joan Bombardo said: “The proposal follows a major review of our business, which concluded that by simplifying and consolidating our production facilities, we will be more streamlined, more customer-focused and be able to respond more effectively to market opportunities.”
Commitment of staff
He stressed that the closure was not a reflection of the hard work and commitment of those employed at the Whitchurch site and promised the consultation process would begin as soon as possible.
“We know that yesterday’s announcement and forthcoming consultation will be unsettling, and we will work hard to keep colleagues informed of the process as it moves forward, as early and as frequently as possible,” Bombardo added.
Ornua markets and sells dairy products on behalf of its members and is one of Ireland’s largest exporters of Irish dairy products.
Headquartered in Dublin, it exports to over 110 countries, with annual sales of €2bn (£1.7bn), operating from 20 subsidiaries worldwide and employing more than 2,000 staff.
Meanwhile, up to 100 jobs are at risk at one of Warburtons’ core bakeries in Newcastle upon Tyne, after the manufacturer announced plans to close the site.
The company informed employees on Wednesday (10 July) of its intention to close the factory in Newburn, citing changing consumer trends as the reason for the proposal. The job losses would be felt across the baker’s main bakery – its depot and separate free-from factory would be unaffected.