Milk and bakery job losses at Armagh firm Linwoods

Around 90 jobs are to go across the milk and bakery divisions of Armagh-based food firm Linwoods.

The company began with a small corner shop around 60 years ago but today employs 250 full-time and 45 casual employees across its two Northern Ireland sites.

Bosses blamed a fall in consumer demand, including a drop in white bread sales, for the announcement.

‘Unviable’

John Woods, joint managing director, said: “This is obviously a very difficult decision for our company today and our priority is our people.

“Linwoods has been a business at the heart of the Co. Armagh community for a long time and in order to continue to do this we have had to react to a change in the requirements of our market.

“Our customers’ buying habits have changed and we have seen the demand for 800g white bread falling dramatically in recent years.

When this is combined with the increasing costs for distribution of our bakery and dairy products, it has become a wholly unviable prospect for the future of our business.

“In comparison to this, our health food business is growing and continues to be successful around the world. Our focus and our investment will now be placed on this side of the business.”

Linwoods Health Foods and all contracted bakery production will not be affected by the decision.