Belfast Telegraph

Co Tyrone fruit and veg firm Quinfresh to close - 53 jobs lost

Quinfresh met with staff today to advise them of the job losses (stock picture)
Quinfresh met with staff today to advise them of the job losses (stock picture)

Fifty-three workers have been made redundant at an 80-year-old fruit and vegetable business outside Coalisland as it closes due to external pressures facing the retail trade.

Quinfresh, which was established by James J Quinn and is located at Ballynakelly Road, met with staff today to advise them of the job losses.

Proprietor Peter Quinn, said: “The escalating costs of sourcing produce, rising production expenses and an increasingly competitive local market has created conditions which have made our business unsustainable. I have no choice but to make this extremely difficult decision and close our operation here in Coalisland.

“We have worked hard and been innovative, introducing new product lines in prepared convenience foods, working seven days a week, and achieving British Retail Consortium Global Standards certificate in best practices for the food and manufacturing industries.

“Despite all of this and the unstinting efforts of our loyal and dedicated staff the trading situation in the end overwhelmed us.

“This business has not just been a livelihood for four generations of my own family but also for countless other Co. Tyrone families down through the years, with long standing relationships with local growers and producers. I do not underestimate the terrible blow this will be for families in our area.

“I want to pay tribute to all the staff and to my family, not one of whom could have done more to avoid this very sad day”.

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SDLP Mid Ulster Councillor Malachy Quinn described the closure as “devastating news”.

He said: “Quinfresh has been a big local name for the last 80 years in Coalisland. The family has nurtured the company and provided good jobs for local people for a long time. News that they’re to close their doors is devastating.

“I will be speaking to company management today and to workers affected by the announcement. This is a significant blow for Coalisland and we have to do all we can to ensure further opportunities are made available for the staff in the immediate future.”

Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill said she will seek whatever support is possible  for the workers affected.

“The announcement that Quinfresh is to close after almost 80 years in business is a huge blow to the local economy," she said.

“A total of 53 jobs will be lost and a family business that has been operating for generations will disappear. Our thoughts are with the staff affected and my office will be engaging with the Department for the Economy to ensure that all possible supports are put in place to assist them.”

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