Belfast Telegraph

90 jobs cut at Northern Ireland food business Linwoods - sales in white loaves blamed

Linwoods said sales of white loaves have reduced dramatically.
Linwoods said sales of white loaves have reduced dramatically.
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

Armagh-based food business Linwoods has announced it is to cut 90 jobs from its workforce.

The company said it was to end its van sales distribution business blaming a "significant and long-term change in market demand" particularly in sales of the white loaf, for the decision.

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

"We will do all that we can to make this process as smooth as we can for them and their families."

Linwoods is a family business which began 60 years ago as a small grocery shop. In 2002 the company diversified from a bakery and dairy business into health foods. Linwoods now exports its products across the UK, Europe and Asia.

It employs 250 full time and 45 casual employees in Northern Ireland and operates across two sites in County Armagh.

Linwoods Health Foods and all contracted bakery production will not be affected by Tuesday's announcement.

Mr Woods continued: “Linwoods has been a business at the heart of the County 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 managing director, John Woods.
Linwoods managing director, John Woods.

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