A major dairy processing co-op operating on the island of Ireland is making lay-offs at its site in Monaghan to reduce operating costs.
On 30 August the board of Lakeland Dairies co-op approved a plan to adjust its processing activities at the site in Monaghan, which will see some operations cease or transfer to other locations. A total of 130 staff are employed at the Monaghan site, 68 of whom will be made redundant. Some employees will be redeployed elsewhere within the business.
The Monaghan site belonged to LacPatrick, which merged with Lakeland in April this year to form the second-largest dairy processor in Ireland.
The co-op said the Monaghan site had had significant and recurring losses prior to the merger. It also argued the site had had “little or no investment in processing capabilities over the years.”
Michael Hanley, CEO of Lakeland Dairies said: “It is essential for us to realise efficiencies from within our merged group of processing facilities and to achieve sustainable profitability in the interests of our farm families on a long-term basis for the future.”
He argued the plan would reduce operating costs while providing for the continuation of strategic units for the business.
He added: “Arising from this adjustment of operations, it is regrettably the case that a number of redundancies will be required in Monaghan and we will enter into consultation to discuss the roles that will be affected. We will also be providing details of any redeployment opportunities available in other parts of the Lakeland Group. Of the 130 jobs in Monaghan, there will be some 68 redundancies on the site while some will be redeployed elsewhere within the Lakeland Group.
“Lakeland Dairies processes over 1.85 billion litres of milk annually and allocates this milk as flexibly and profitably as possible to different sites and into different product areas which are in the highest market demand, yielding the highest milk price, at different times throughout any given year.
“While this development is difficult for everyone concerned, it is necessary to ensure we operate our business in the most efficient manner. It has been the core strategy of Lakeland Dairies to ensure that all sites are run as profitably as possible to ensure we are well-positioned to meet the demand of a competitive global dairy market while protecting the future of our 3,200 farm families.”