Crisp manufacturer Largo Foods has announced that it is to enter into a consultation process with its Gweedore, Co Donegal, employees about its proposal to transfer all manufacturing from Gweedore to its main plant in Ashbourne. Under this plan approximately 70 of the 110 full-time and 30 part-time employees in Gweedore would be offered the opportunity to transfer to full-time jobs in Ashbourne where 360 people are already employed by the company.
The staff members were told the news at a plant meeting on Friday in Gweedore.
Maurice Hickey, Chief Executive of Largo Foods, said: “Our proposal to transfer manufacturing from Gweedore has been made necessary by the need for the company to continuously reduce costs in the very competitive snack-food market where Largo Foods trades head to head with major global brands.
He added: "85% of the output from the Gweedore plant is exported to the UK and further afield. The volume of production at this plant does not provide the scale of activity necessary to produce snack-foods in a cost effective manner. Moving production from Gweedore to Ashbourne would also enable the company to centralise activities at one site thereby improving cost competitiveness.
"We are working closely with Udaras na Gaeltachta to address issues arising from this plan. We are also in discussions with Enterprise Ireland regarding the continued development of our business in Ireland.
"At this difficult time, I would like, on behalf of the management team of Largo Foods, to pay tribute to our Gweedore employees for their hard work and commitment over the last 18 years. The company will consult with employee representatives and each employee on a one to one basis about their options arising from this plan.”
Largo Foods is a manufacturer and distributor of snack-foods. It supplies branded and private label products to customers in Ireland, the UK, Continental Europe, Australia and the Middle East. It sells crisps and snack food products under the Tayto, King, Hunky Dorys and Perri brands in Ireland and Velvet Crunch in the UK.
The company currently employs 510 people in Ireland and 120 in the UK and has an annual turnover of over €100 million.