Internal restructuring
Southern and Eastern;
Location of affected unit(s)
Manufacture Of Food And Beverage
Manufacture Of Food Products
10.5 - Manufacture of dairy products

500 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
26 November 2003
Employment effect (start)
Foreseen end date


The Daiygold Group, which manufactures a range of dairy products, has announced plans to cut 500 jobs in a package that will cost around €50 million. An average payment of just over €60,000 to each departing employee is provided for. The redundancy terms that have been agreed with the unions are 4.6 weeks pay per year of service, plus the new statutory entitlement of two weeks pay per year of service – with a cap of 2.2 years’ earnings. The calculations include shift and bonus payments.

While the unions have agreed to the terms by a margin of four to one, they object to any compulsory redundancies.

The view of senior management is that this rationalisation is long overdue. The Dairygold CEO is clear that the current job shedding plan could be the start of other reductions further along the line. However, it is understood that further rationalisation exercises will be more modest.

According to the CEO, the background to the Group’s current difficulties is that, on the consumer foods side, the consolidation of the European retail sector has resulted in a shift in the balance of power towards the major multiple customers. The situation is being compounded by a shift in consumer preferences.

The situation 'has changed dramatically and continues to change. Today, almost 20% of all food products purchased in Irish grocery retailers are own label – and own label accounts for an even greater proportion in Europe, with the UK now approaching 40%. Ireland is expected to follow this trend in a very fast manner – to go from 20% to 40% plus own label'.


  • 2 December 2003: The Irish Times
  • 27 November 2003: The Irish Times


Eurofound (2003), Dairygold, Internal restructuring in Ireland, factsheet number 60069, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/60069.