23 job losses announced at midlands pizza base manufacturer
Factory of Domino’s supplier to be demolished following the outbreak of a serious fire on 6 January
21 January 2015
Pizza base and fresh tortilla wrap manufacturer The Flat Bread Company has announced 23 job losses, following a serious fire which occurred at its plant in Clara, Co. Offaly, earlier this month.
The bakery, which is the only one of its kind to make fresh flour tortilla wraps and pizza bases in Ireland for the Irish, UK and Europe markets, supplies a number of major brands, including its biggest customer, Domino’s.
Established in 2008 by Kieran and Sean Walsh along with Niels Ladefoged, the business also manufactures a number of own-brand retail products and had been steadily expanding.
Sadly, the fire which broke out on Tuesday, 6 January caused significant structural damage to the building, which is now set to be demolished.
However management say they are determined to rebuild the business and have subsequently retained nine staff members on a full-time and part-time basis.
In a statement, the company said: “Our aspiration is to return to the area and recommence business as soon as possible. However, as we are totally reliant on specialist equipment which has to be manufactured and then sourced from the USA, this means that it is very unlikely we will be up and running again before the summer.”
Management described the job losses as “frustrating and deeply disappointing” but said the company was unable “to continue to pay [staff] for what is an unspecified length of time or to expect them to wait until we may be in a position to offer them employment again”.
The statement added: “Causing minimum disruption to [our customers’] businesses, is essential to us being able to secure a future for our own company. With respect to that, we have already put in place a contingency supply for some products and are working on securing an alternative supply for the remainder.”
The Tullamore Tribune has reported “a deep sadness” over the news in Clara, which has already been affected by high unemployment and emigration during the recession.
Local retailers say sales have already been impacted, with one store owner pointing out that those who travelled to work at The Flat Bread Company usually came into their shop for lunch items.