Dale Farm has announced that it is to close its creamery site in Fivemiletown.
In a statement released this afternoon the dairy co-operative said it has taken the decision not to renew its lease on the site, with plans to relocate staff and Fivemiletown cheese production to its facility at Dromona, Cullybackey.
In May 2014, Dale Farm bought the Fivemiletown speciality cheese brand from Glanbia Ingredients Ireland and reached agreement with Fivemiletown & Brookeborough Co-operative to take over the production of its cheese at the Fivemiletown site. Dale Farm leased the premises from Fivemiletown & Brookeborough Co-operative and took over employment of its staff.
The lease arrangement with Fivemiletown & Brookeborough Co-operative is due to terminate in 2019 and Dale Farm will not renew this.
The statement says Dale Farm is supporting the 18 staff currently employed at the Fivemiletown site by offering transfers to other Dale Farm production locations or, where this is not feasible, securing suitable redundancy packages.
Dale Farm has stated that following careful consideration, maintaining production of Fivemiletown cheese at the Fivemiletown site was deemed no longer feasible.
“Dale Farm will relocate production of the main lines of our Fivemiletown cheeses to our facility at Dromona Cullybackey. However, the low volume Fivemiletown cheese retail lines will no longer be carried.
“Dale Farm is keen to ensure the Fivemiletown brand remains active in Northern Ireland and will continue to produce Fivemiletown goat’s cheese.”
Production of Fivemiletown cheese at Fivemiletown Creamery will cease in early June 2019.