Hannon's Poultry to close with loss of over fi by vaj19048


									14                                                                              Roscommon People Friday 07 November 2008

people news

 Hannon’s Poultry to close
 with loss of over fifty jobs
The reported impending closure of Hannon’s             It is understood that staff at the chicken process-   by loopholes in our labelling laws.”                of a job to find alternative employment or seek
Poultry factory in Roscommon town, with the           ing plant were told on Friday of the impending          The closure of the Hannon Poultry company in       training opportunities.”
loss of about 54 jobs, has come as a severe           closure. The People understands that about ten         Roscommon is one of the most worrying devel-         The loss of more than 50 jobs following the clo-
blow to the local economy. No press statement         employees remain at the plant at present.              opments in the current economic downturn as it      sure of Hannon’s Poultry factory was described
has been forthcoming from Hannon’s but news               Fine Gael TD Denis Naughten reacted to the         represents difficulties created for the indigenous   as a “devastating blow for Roscommon town”,
spread around the county town on Friday last of       news. “This announcement is devastating news           food industry by having to play on an uneven        by Fine Gael local election candidate Laurence
the closure and it was subsequently reported in       to those employed with the company, but also           playfield, said Independent MEP Marian Harkin.       Fallon.
the national media.                                   to the local economy which benefited from the            Local Fine Gael councillor Domnick Connolly          He said: “The state agencies must act now to
  One of Roscommon town’s longest established         wage packets.                                          called for urgent action to be taken to aid job     provide all support necessary, including re-train-
businesses, most of the workforce at Hannon’s in          This closure can be directly attributed to the     creation in Roscommon town following the job        ing where appropriate, to assist the workforce in
recent years consisted of members of Brazilian        failure by Government to properly regulate and         losses.                                             securing new employment and prevent them be-
and Polish nationals. Seasonal lay-offs of staff      enforce food labelling laws. The reality is that        “I am now calling on FÁS and other state agen-     coming just another statistic on the ever-expand-
were a regular occurrence in recent years.            quality Irish food products are being undermined       cies to aid those who now find themselves out        ing live register.”

Extra resources needed
for job creation – Connolly                                   Labelling loopholes
Local councillor Domnick Connolly has called for ur-
gent action to be taken to aid job creation in Roscommon
town following recent job losses in the area.
                                   Cllr. Connolly said:
                                                              costing jobs – Naughten
                                “Roscommon has been           The grossly inadequate         jobs, according to Denis       Hannon’s Poultry factory     54 jobs. “This announce-      gent, should be working to
                                largely ignored when it       food labelling laws in         Naughten TD, speaking          in Roscommon town is set     ment is devastating news      close this crazy loophole
                                comes to the issue of job     this country are costing       after it was revealed that     to close with the loss of    to those employed with        which allows foreign food
                                creation and urgent action                                                                                               the company, but also to      to be passed off as Irish.
                                needs to be taken to rem-                                                                                                the local economy which       Minister Sargent must
                                edy this situation.
                                   “The reality is that
                                when there are job losses
                                in a town, like we have
                                                               McNamara calls                                                                            benefited from the wage
                                                                                                                                                         packets. This closure can
                                                                                                                                                         be directly attributed to
                                                                                                                                                         the failure by Govern-
                                                                                                                                                                                       now explain to farmers
                                                                                                                                                                                       and consumers, as well as
                                                                                                                                                                                       those who have now lost
                                                                                                                                                                                       their jobs, why the Fianna
                                seen occurring across the                                                                                                ment to properly regulate     Fáil/Green Government

Cllr. Domnick Connolly
                                country recently, other
                                businesses such as shops
                                and landlords in the area
also suffer from the resulting blow to the local econo-
                                                               for a task force
                                                                HAC Cllr. Paula McNamara expressed concerns
                                                                                                                                                         and enforce food labelling
                                                                                                                                                         laws. The reality is that
                                                                                                                                                         quality Irish food products
                                                                                                                                                         are being undermined by
                                                                                                                                                                                       has so far failed to amend
                                                                                                                                                                                       this ridiculous legislation.
                                                                                                                                                                                           “Jobs are being lost and
                                                                                                                                                                                       Irish farmers are losing mil-
my.                                                                                                                                                      loopholes in our labelling    lions in lost revenue while
                                                                about the reported closure which she said would
  “I am now calling on FÁS and other state agencies to                                                                                                   laws.                         suffering the indignity of
                                                                be “a devastating blow” to Roscommon town.
aid those who now find themselves out of a job to find                                                                                                         “On numerous occa-        seeing foreign food sold
                                                                 Noting that about 60 people are employed there,
alternative employment or seek training opportunities.”                                                                                                  sions I have highlighted      as Irish simply because it
                                                                she said a loss of jobs on this scale has a direct
                                                                                                                                                         the fact that the ‘substan-   has been processed in this
                                                                impact on revenue circulating in the town.
                                                                                                                                                         tial transformation’ loop-    country. Inadequate food
Jobs blow                                                           It will also have a major indirect impact as
                                                                                                                                                         hole allows produce which     labeling and, in particular,
                                                                demand for goods and services will be affected,
                                                                                                                                                         has had minimal process-      the substantial transforma-
‘devastating’ – Fallon                                          she said.
                                                                                                                                                         ing in Ireland, like the      tion loophole are behind
The loss of 50 jobs following the closure of Hannon’s             Cllr. McNamara put the cost of the closure to
                                                                                                                                                         addition of breadcrumbs,      the difficulties being expe-
Poultry factory has been described as a “devastating            the economy as between €2m and €3m. “Unfor-
                                                                                                                                                         to be passed off as Irish.    rienced by companies like
                                                                tunately over the last number of years Roscom-
                                blow for Roscommon                                                                                                       Coupled with misleading       Hannon’s Poultry.
                                                                mon town has had a succession of job losses,
                                town”, by Fine Gael local                                                                                                labelling this means Irish         “This lack of enforce-
                                                                particularly in the manufacturing sector, but also
                                election candidate Lau-                                                                                                  produce and cheap im-         ment has lead to today’s
                                                                in services.”
                                rence Fallon.                                                                                                            ports are not competing on    job losses and more will
                                                                  Cllr. McNamara called on Minister Michael
                                    “The loss of 50 jobs                                                                                                 a level playing field.         follow unless immediate
                                                                Finneran to put a task force in place to attract
                                will have a severe effect                                                                                                    “The     Government’s     action is taken,” conclud-
                                                                employment to the area.
                                on the economy of a small                                                                                                Food Minister, Trevor Sar-    ed Deputy Naughten.
                                town such as Roscom-
                                mon,” stated Mr Fallon.

Laurence Fallon
                                “The announcement of
                                the closure is devastating
                                news for those who will
                                                              Save poultry industry – Harkin
lose their jobs and the repercussions will be felt through-   The closure of the Hannon Poul-       local services and purchasing of     imports into so called ‘Irish’
out the town and surrounding areas with many other            try company in Roscommon is           raw materials,” she said.            products, there can be no future
businesses locally feeling the knock-on effects of this       one of the most worrying devel-           However Hannon’s and other       for an indigenous Irish poultry
closure.                                                      opments in the current economic       Irish poultry processors are being   industry,” she said.
    “The state agencies must act now to provide all sup-      downturn as it represents diffi-       pressured out of business by the         While the current situation
port necessary, including re-training where appropriate,      culties created for the indigenous    fact that a huge volume of im-       continued there would inevitably
to assist the workforce in securing new employment and        food industry by having to play       ported poultry products do have      be further closures of Irish chick-
prevent them becoming just another statistic on the ever-     on an uneven playfield, accord-        to meet the same stringent qual-     en processors with severe impli-
                                                              ing to MEP Marian Harkin.             ity standards as Irish processed     cations for those who worked in
expanding live register.”                                         Ms. Harkin was calling for        poultry, Marian Harkin said.         the industry, extending from pro-
    Mr. Fallon continued: “The Hannon family has, for         EU regulations to be adminis-                  Highest standards           ducers of chickens to rearers and
a long number of years, provided a valuable service for       tered in a way which protected           “If the Irish government fails    ultimately the processors them-
poultry producers in Roscommon and the surrounding            those food producers who met          to persuade the European Com-        selves, she said.
areas and this announcement is a sad time for all con-        the vitally necessary standards       mission that Irish consumers are         This requires an immediate
cerned with its operation in Roscommon town.                  designed to protect consumers.        not being protected by a system      and urgent response for the Irish
    “This closure is a significant loss to the industry and        “Hannon Poultry has been a        which rightly requires Irish pro-    government and the EU to tackle
follows in the wake of similar difficulties elsewhere in       successful processing company         ducers and processors to meet        the disparity in standards which
the country. It is clear that the time has now arrived for    for many years providing valu-        the highest standards in the         threatens the survival of the Irish Marian Harkin, MEP
the Government to take action to stop the situation where     able employment and contribut-        world, while refusing to insist on   poultry industry and the interests
imported foodstuff can be labelled as Irish after only        ing to the local economy through      the same standards for imports,      of consumers and this must be belling country of origin and date of
very minimal processing.”                                     its wage bill and employment of       and the transformation of those      done through insistence on la- slaughter, Marian Harkin MEP said.

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