Business

Co Tyrone fruit and veg supplier Quinfresh to close after almost 80 years at cost of 53 jobs

Fresh fruit and vegetable supplier Quinfresh has closed after almost 80 years of trading
Gareth McKeown

A CO Tyrone fresh fruit and vegetable supplier has closed its doors after almost 80 years of trading, at a cost of 53 jobs.

Coalisland-based Quinfresh, which works with the local wholesale, manufacturing, catering and retail industries, met with staff yesterday to confirm the closure of its Ballykelly Road facility, with rising costs cited as a key factor.

In a statement proprietor, Peter Quinn said the adverse trading environment had made the business "unsustainable".

"The escalating costs of sourcing produce, rising production expenses and an increasingly competitive local market has created conditions, which have made our business unsustainable. I have no choice but to make this extremely difficult decision and close our operation here in Coalisland," he said.

"We have worked hard and been innovative, introducing new product lines in prepared convenience foods, working seven days a week, and achieving British Retail Consortium Global Standards certificate in best practices for the food and manufacturing industries.

"Despite all of this and the unstinting efforts of our loyal and dedicated staff the trading situation in the end overwhelmed us."

"This business has not just been a livelihood for four generations of my own family, but also for countless other Co Tyrone families down through the years, with long standing relationships with local growers and producers. I do not underestimate the terrible blow this will be for families in our area.

"I want to pay tribute to all the staff and to my family, not one of whom could have done more to avoid this very sad day," Mr Quinn added.

SDLP Mid Ulster councillor, Malachy Quinn described the closure of Quinfresh as "devastating" news for Coalisland.

“Quinfresh has been a big local name for the last 80 years in Coalisland. The family has nurtured the company and provided good jobs for local people for a long time. News that they’re to close their doors is devastating."

 

"This is a significant blow for Coalisland and we have to do all we can to ensure further opportunities are made available for the staff in the immediate future," he added.

Originally founded as JJ Quinn & Sons in 1942, the Co Tyrone business was initially set up to fill a gap in the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables within Northern Ireland to the wholesale, catering and retail industry. Almost 60 years later, Quinfresh was founded by Peter Quinn and the family business had been an active supplier for many of the leading manufacturers, restaurants and retailers in the north.

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