Kepak plant in Clare to close ‘for a time’

The Kepak plant in Co. Clare is set to close “for a time” over apparent concerns over the plant’s profitability and long-term sustainability.

It has not yet been confirmed if this closure will be temporary or permanent, or for how long it will be closed.

AgriLand understands that the decision was taken as the plant did not have access to certain international markets, including China.

Allegedly, the fallout from last year’s beef plant protests affected the Clare plant worse than other facilities in the Kepak business or other processors.

The first signs of trouble for the Kepak Clare plant appeared last September, when a multi-million investment was postponed.

In a statement at that time, Kepak confirmed that it would “indefinitely postpone” a €6.5 million investment at its Clare site in Drumquin, citing the factory gate blockades – which were ongoing at the time – as the cause of the decision.

Kepak said that the plant in the county had been the most severely affected by the blockades, with all processing being suspended there effectively after August 2.

At the time of that decision being taken, Kepak had laid off some 1,400 people, including all staff at Kepak Clare. Kepak said it was “endeavouring to provide our colleagues with every support and assistance during this difficult time”.