The cider, beer and mineral water manufacturer is losing 124 jobs at its Borrisoleigh plant with 20 job losses to come from C&C’s Portlaoise and New Ross depots.
However the move will be accompanied by an investment of over €10 million in expanding the Clonmel manufacturing site including enhancing the packaging and logistics capability in Clonmel which will provide 80 new jobs. 10 new jobs will also be created at its Kilkenny depot putting the net job-loss here at 54.
The C&C Group announced the rationalisation plan after a detailed review of its “manufacturing and operational footprint” begun early last year.
C&C had previously indicated its intention to shave €15 million from its operational costs. As a result, Clonmel will become the core manufacturing site for both its Bulmers and Magners brands as well as Tipperary Water and its range of niche premium beers.
The Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow remains unaffected.
According to C&C, the “intensely competitive” trading environment in both the UK and Ireland in recent years led to the rationalisation.
“This led to significant downward pricing pressure and the loss of material contracts for private label water,” it stated, “Current capacity utilisation across the three impacted sites is 34%, constraining C&C’s ability to compete over the longer term. Under the planned configuration, Clonmel will move to a capacity utilisation level of 75%”.
Devon’s Shepton Mallet fruit milling operation remains unaffected by the proposal and C&C will continue to source apples on a long-term basis from local farmers. Equally Borrisoleigh will remain a key transport hub where both logistics and warehousing operations will be maintained in the town, thus 15 employees will be retained here to carry out this work.
“This has been a difficult decision for the Group and it is sad that the consolidation of production at the Clonmel site is the only viable option to maintain long-term competitiveness,” stated the company, “C&C recognises the impact on employees and will work to provide support, training and where possible, alternative employment.”
The closures are understood to be scheduled for July and as yet it’s unclear whether those losing their jobs will be preferentially offered redeployment in Clonmel.
C&C bought M&J Gleeson’s profitable Borrisoleigh plant for €12.4 million in 2014.