Job fears for Hacketstown

50 jobs at the Kepak meat processing plant in Hacketstown are under threat.

Management of the Kepak Group it is to undertake a review of the Hacketstown business to examine whether the continuing operations of the site are commercially viable.

The plant, which processes lamb carcass meat, has been operating on a two to three day week in recent times.

According to Kepak,  high operating costs, competition from New Zealand and the UK, and a 50% drop in the availability of lamb in Ireland are major factors in the review.

“The cost structure needs to be addressed to make it competitive; the plant is underutilised and we have to take a hard look at whether or not the plant has a viable future as a stand-alone operation,” a company spokesman said.

“Kepak is fully committed to retain its position as a key lamb processor in the Irish market. Kepak Athleague, County Roscommon, is a state-of-the-art vertically integrated lamb slaughtering and cutting facility, which has been heavily invested in recent years and now is the Group’s centre of innovation in lamb processing and it delivers world-class efficiencies and quality product.”

The Kepak Group employs more than 1,700 people in Ireland in seven manufacturing sites and in sales and marketing functions.

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