Linwoods to make 90 people redundant in Armagh

The company will lose staff from its bakery division as consumer habits change

Linwoods is making 90 people redundant as changing consumer habits impact its bakery division. Photograph: iStock

Linwoods is making 90 people redundant as changing consumer habits impact its bakery division. Photograph: iStock

 

A County Armagh family-owned food business is to make 90 people redundant because it says there has been a “significant” change in its customers’ eating habits particularly when it comes to white bread.

Linwoods, which began life more than 60 years ago as a small grocery shop, currently employs 250 full time staff and an additional 45 casual workers across two sites in Armagh.

The company has both a bakery/dairy business and an expanding health foods division.

John Woods, Linwoods joint managing director, said it had been a very difficult decision for the family owned and managed firm to decide to restructure the company and in the process make people redundant.

However he said they had no choice but to react to a changing market.

Mr Woods said:“Our customers’ buying habits have changed and we have seen the demand for 800g white bread falling dramatically in recent years. 

“When this is combined with the increasing costs for distribution of our bakery and dairy products, it has become a wholly unviable prospect for the future of our business.” 

Mr Woods said Linwoods had been a business at the heart of the County Armagh community for a long time and its priority now was “its people”.

“We will do all that we can to make this process as smooth as we can for them and their families,” Mr Woods said.

Neither its contracted bakery production or its health food division will be impacted by the job cuts but it will axe its van sales distribution business. 

In contrast to its bakery and dairy products division Linwoods health food division which specialises in superfoods and a range of healthy seeds, nuts & berries is growing rapidly. The company recently won a gold award for innovation at the SIAL Middle East Show in Abu Dhabi for a ‘Sprouted Flaxseed’ product.

Mr Woods said Linwoods intended to focus its investment and energies on this side of the business.