Over 80 jobs at risk from Cookstown meat factory closure
OVER 80 jobs are at risk after a leading Co Tyrone beef processor announced plans to close its Cookstown factory.
Foyle Food Group has confirmed it will cease processing at its red meat facility in Derryloran Industrial Estate by the end of August.
The factory employs 82 people, the majority of which the company hopes to redeploy across its other facilities.
A spokesperson said the group remains a market leader in the red meat sector, but a rationalisation of processing capacity was necessary.
“We regret the decision to close the Cookstown facility, but this is a necessary consolidation of the group’s operations across our larger and more modern UK facilities, where we have made significant investment in recent years," they said.
“Focusing processing at these sites will allow the group to remain a market-leader within the competitive red meat sector.
“We understand the impact that this proposal will have on our Cookstown workforce. Consultation with staff will begin immediately and we hope to redeploy as many as possible to our other plants.”
Cookstown Ulster Unionist councillor Trevor Wilson described the closure as a "complete bombshell" for staff.
"I have asked for an urgent meeting with the owners and the plant’s management team to discuss what can be done to help the workers affected and to see if anything can be done to save these jobs for Cookstown," he said.
The largest single dedicated beef processor in the UK and Ireland, Foyle employs over 1,300 people across nine processing plants on six sites in the UK and Ireland. In addition to two sites in England, the firm has a presence in Omagh, Derry and Drumnashear in Co Donegal.
Foyle, which has operated in Northern Ireland for over 40 years, has said its other processing plants, as well as customers and suppliers, are unaffected by the Cookstown closure.