Fivemiletown Creamery, Tyrone, may be shut down, with the loss of 50 jobs, according to a number of dairy analysts.
If ongoing discussions between Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Limited (GIIL) and Fivemiletown Creamery are successful, Fivemiletown’s 250m litre milk pool could be diverted to the Glanbia processing plant in Virginia, Co Cavan, dairy analysts have told Agriland.
The Co Tyrone cheese manufacturer has been losing £1million per annum for the past number of years. However, AgriLand has been informed that the staff at Fivemiletown believe that a deal between GIIL and the co-op would also certainly result in them losing their jobs.
Stormont MLA Joe Byrne has reacted to news that 50 jobs could be at risk due to the future of Fivemiletown Creamery being uncertain.
The SDLP Agriculture spokesman said the news was a matter of huge concern.
“Fivemiletown Creamery is a vital business in Tyrone which employs 50 people. It has operated since 1898 and is part of the fabric of the area. The creamery is a consistent award winner for its products, particularly its cheese,” he said and added:
“The closure of the business would be a huge loss to the area as it is vital to the local economy in the Clougher Valley area and a vital cog in the local agri-food sector”.
“I think it is vital that Fivemiletown Creamery survives and provides a service to the dairy farmers of Clougher Valley and continues to produce premier cheese.”
“I can only hope that any new owners would reflect on the incredible products that the creamery produces and the very positive contribution to the local economy and think twice about any plans to close the creamery.”
Founded in 1898, Fivemiletown manufactures a range of hard, soft, blue, smoked, Irish cheddar, and goats’ cheese. Over the last number of years it has built up a range of international market outlets for its speciality cheeses.
In 2011/12 the company generated a turnover of £24 million. This figure fell by almost 50% the following year, caused – to quite a large extent , by the loss of a supply contract to Kerry Foods.