Linwoods has today informed employees of its intention to close its bakery with the loss of 70 jobs.
The move comes following an ongoing review of its business model and in response to a significant and long-term decline in market demand which has resulted in bakery margins being severely depressed.
As a result, the workforce at Linwoods’ Monaghan Road headquarters in Armagh will be reduced by approximately 70 full time employees.
The company has 140 full time employees in Northern Ireland and operates across two sites in County Armagh.
Linwoods is a family business which began 60 years ago as a small grocery shop. In 2002 the company diversified and added health foods to its bakery and dairy business. Linwoods now exports its health food products across the UK and Europe.
Linwoods Health Foods will not be affected by today’s announcement.
John Woods, joint managing director at Linwoods, said: “This is a sad day for the company as we let go of one of the cornerstones of our business which has been integral to building the Linwoods’ brand. Our bakery team has worked incredibly hard and we have explored all possible options to avoid these job losses. This decision has not been taken lightly. It follows several efforts to find alternative solutions.
“Our priority is to secure as many jobs as we can for the future and to provide support for those impacted by this announcement. We will begin a 30 day consultation period during which it is hoped that we can transfer approximately five or more employees across to our health food business. We plan to continue to operate the bakery until mid-October.
“Our health food business is growing and continues to be successful around the world. We are poised to grow this side of Linwoods and we are optimistic about what we can achieve in the years to come.”