Ornua, the Irish dairy cooperative behind brands such as Kerrygold butter and Pilgrim’s Choice cheese, is to close a cheese ingredients facility in the English Midlands.

The co-op said the decision to close the site at Whitchurch, Shropshire, has been taken following a view of its European ingredients operations.

Some 90 people are employed by Ornua at Whitchurch but it said it anticipates that the majority of them will transfer to its nearby “well-invested” cheese ingredients facility at Nantwich, Cheshire.

Production undertaken at the closing facility will also be switched to Nantwich.

The proposal to cease operations at Whitchurch was announced to staff yesterday (15 July) by senior management.  
Joan Bombardo, managing director for Ornua’s European ingredients division, said: “It is with much regret, that we have announced our proposal to cease operations at our Whitchurch site and transfer the production to our nearby, well-invested Nantwich cheese ingredients facility.  

“The proposal follows a major review of our business which concluded that by simplifying and consolidating our production facilities we will be more streamlined, more customer-focused and be able to respond more effectively to market opportunities.”
He added: “We know that yesterday’s announcement and forth-coming consultation will be unsettling, and we will work hard to keep colleagues informed of the process as it moves forward, as early and as frequently as possible.”
The Nantwich cheese ingredients facility is the headquarters of Ornua’s European ingredients operations. It produces multiple grated and diced cheese formats, a range of sliced cheese and delicatessen blocks and is the home of the Spinneyfields foodservice cheese brand.