Northern Ireland

Foyle Food Group beef processing factory in Cookstown to close

Stock image of beef Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption FFG is the largest single dedicated beef processor in the UK and Republic of Ireland

Foyle Food Group (FFG) is to close its factory in Cookstown, County Tyrone.

The processing facility in Derryloran Industrial Estate employs 82 people and the company said it hoped to redeploy staff where possible.

It operates nine plants across the UK and the Republic of Ireland and employs 1,300 people.

FFG has operated in Northern Ireland for more than 40 years and the Cookstown closure is due by the end of August.

The Northern Ireland-based company is the largest single dedicated beef processor in the UK and Republic of Ireland, specialising in the slaughter, deboning and processing of beef products, which are exported around the world.

'Regret'

A spokesperson said the group remained a market leader in the red meat sector, but that a rationalisation of processing capacity was necessary.

They said: "We regret the decision to close the Cookstown facility, but this is a necessary consolidation of the group's operations across our larger and more modern UK facilities, where we have made significant investment in recent years.

"Focusing processing at these sites will allow the group to remain a market-leader within the competitive red meat sector.

"We understand the impact that this proposal will have on our Cookstown workforce.

"Consultation with staff will begin immediately and we hope to redeploy as many as possible to our other plants."

The company said its other sites, including Omagh, Londonderry and elsewhere in the UK and Republic of Ireland, customers and suppliers were unaffected.

Ulster Unionist Party councillor Trevor Wilson said he hoped to meet with the company.

He said: "This news has come as a complete bombshell to the workers and their families and is dreadful news for Cookstown and the surrounding area."

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