Decision to move production of some specialist Fivemiletown brand cheeses to other sites is driven by desire to maximise profit
Unite seeks further investment from Dale Farm to safeguard more than one hundred years of milk processing at the Fivemiletown site
April 26th: Liam Gallagher, Unite Regional Officer responsible for his union’s membership at Dale Farm voiced his union’s disgust at the decision of Dale Farm to end production at the former Fivemiletown creamery site in the Tyrone town.
“Five years ago, Unite was central to efforts to ensure that specialist cheese production at the Fivemiletown Creamery’s site in the town was transferred as a going concern to Dale Farm. This transfer safeguarded production and the jobs of eighteen workers on site.
“Yesterday’s decision by Dale Farm management to close the facility reverses that success and will end more than one hundred years of milk processing in Fivemiletown. This is a body-blow to the local agri-food economy with the total loss of milk processing in the Fermanagh-West Tyrone area. To add insult to injury Dale Farm will continue to produce and brand as ‘Fivemiletown’ some of the specialist cheeses that were produced at the site, only elsewhere in Northern Ireland.
“This is a blatant case of asset-stripping by Dale Farm, whose profits last year leapt up from £6.1 to £8.3 million in the year to end 2017. This decision to close production at the site has not been forced on the company but arises from the desire to maximise profits off the back of workers. The eighteen workers at the site have been offered redeployment but it is to production sites in North Antrim – unlikely to suit any of them. We reject outright the case for closure and demand instead that Dale Farm invest further in Fivemiletown with a view to increasing its productive capacity. These job-losses are not necessary or acceptable to Unite”, Mr Gallagher concluded.