Northern Ireland

Jobs at risk as Dale Farm close Fivemiletown cheese factory

Cheese Image copyright Getty Images

Dale Farm is ending production at its Fivemiletown cheese factory putting 18 jobs at risk.

The dairy firm bought Fivemiletown speciality cheese brands in 2014 and leased the factory from Fivemiletown & Brookeborough Co-op.

It said it is not renewing the lease and will move production to its Cullybackey facility in June.

It will also end production of some Fivemiletown retail brands.

Staff will be offered transfers to other Dale Farm locations or, where this is not feasible, redundancy packages.

Image caption Transfers to other Dale Farm locations will be offered

Dale Farm is one of Northern Ireland's largest food businesses with an annual turnover of about £500m.

The company said "following careful consideration, maintaining production of Fivemiletown cheese at the Fivemiletown site was deemed no longer feasible.

"Dale Farm is keen to ensure the Fivemiletown brand remains active in Northern Ireland and will continue to produce Fivemiletown goat's cheese."