Posted: 27/05/2014

Dale Farm saves Fivemiletown from closure

Fivemiletown Creamery cheese rangeProduction of speciality cheese looks set to continue at Northern Ireland’s Fivemiletown Creamery after one of the country’s largest dairy companies swooped to save the business from closure.

Dale Farm has bought Fivemiletown’s brands from the Irish Republic’s Glanbia Ingredients, which acquired them along with the creamery’s milk supply from owners Fivemiletown & Brookeborough Co-operative last month.

Production of the soft cheese brands – including Ballybrie, Ballyblue and Ballyoak – will continue at the Co Tyrone creamery with 21 members of staff retained. Given Dale Farm’s current operation, cheddar production will cease on the site in July resulting in 25 redundancies.

Dale Farm will now supply the milk for cheese-making and the £500m firm’s chief executive David Dobbin has already pledged to grow the brands internationally.

Glanbia struck a deal with Fivemiletown & Brookeborough Co-operative last month, placing nearly 50 staff into redundancy consultation and leaving the creamery facing closure.

The 116-year-old creamery, which produced both speciality and mass-market cheese had been in financial difficulties for some time due to tough trading conditions and the loss of a major contract.

The creamery remains the property of the co-operative.

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