It is understood employees at three Glanbia sites will be affected

It is understood employees at three Glanbia sites will be affected

Irish dairy and ingredients group Glanbia has initiated a voluntary redundancy programme for its struggling consumer products division.

The group, which employs around 2,000 staff across Ireland, has begun consultation with the 650 staff employed in its consumer products business, it confirmed today (11 October).

At the firm's half-year results in August, Glanbia revealed the operating environment for its consumer products division had continued to be impacted by the "challenging" Irish retail environment as well as high input costs due to sustained increases in global dairy market prices.

A month later, the firm, which produces Avonmore milk and Kilmeaden cheese, announced plans to shake up the division in order to ensure the competitiveness of the business. The plans include a capital investment programme in new technologies and new facilities, redesigning parts of the supply network for efficiency, restructuring head office functions and reducing the overall cost base.

In a statement today, Glanbia said the voluntary redundancy programme would form part of this "ongoing programme of change" to "further evolve" the business model and structure.

It is understood employees at three Glanbia sites - Drogheda, Co Louth; Ballitore, Co Kildare; and Citywest, Dublin - will be affected by the move. The firm also has a soup plant in Kilkenny, but this is not thought to be affected, according to the Irish Times.

In its statement, Glanbia said: "While these changes will result in the creation of a number of new jobs, there will also regrettably be a number of redundancies; the final details of which have yet to emerge as it will be a blend of those who avail of consumer products voluntary redundancy programme or relocation and outsource job opportunities and discussions with employees and their representatives."