Following last week’s announcement from Ornua that it is reducing its stake in CoreFX Ingredients, the co-operative has also revealed that it has been forced to close a cheese manufacturing facility due to the loss of a key customer. While the disposal of the majority stake in CoreFX was described by Ornua as “aligned with the strategic objectives of the group” the closure of the cheese plant has been forced by circumstances beyond Ornua’s control.

The plant in question is based in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania and produced individually wrapped slices, grated and dried cheese.

It was purchased by Ornua as part of the 2021 acquisition of Whitehall Specialities Inc. for €48.5m. Following that acquisition Whitehall was rebranded to become part of Ornua Ingredients North America (OINA).

Commenting on the closure, Jason Delaney, managing director of OINA said that “following the sudden and unexpected decision by the plant’s only customer to change strategic direction, it is no longer viable to produce product at the site.”

He added that Ornua would be doing everything it can to provide support and assistance to the workers at the plant who have lost their jobs.

Ornua added that the decision has not impacted any of OINA’s other manufacturing facilities which are based in Wisconsin and Michigan.