Arrabawn Co-op has lost a key liquid milk contract with supermarket Tesco after an inspection uncovered a non-pathogenic E coli bacterial problem at its Kilconnell liquid milk processing plant outside Athenry, Co Galway.
The exact impact on Arrabawn liquid milk suppliers or on trading relationships the co-op has with supermarkets is as yet unknown as management work through the issues.
The Irish Farmers Journalunderstands it might only be a temporary contract loss if Arrabawn can get a re-audit completed and supply restarted within three months.
It is also understood that Arrabawn complied with all the necessary regulations when the problem was discovered, and that no impacted dairy product got into the supply chain.
Two senior managers from Arrabawn’s head office have been put in place to implement new controls at the facility.
An Arrabawn spokesperson said: “Arrabawn Dairies is working with the relevant authorities on the introduction of a number of changes, some of which are already implemented, at its liquid milk plant in Kilconnell, Co Galway, following an inspection at the facility last month.
“Arrabawn Dairies is fully committed to ensuring the quality of product at the plant is at the highest possible level. Kilconnell is one of Ireland’s most modern liquid milk processing sites.”
A spokesperson for the Food Safety Authority said: “There’s an ongoing investigation in relation to Arrabawn Dairies. We can’t comment further.”
A Tesco spokesperson said it cannot discuss individual supplier relationships.
Arrabawn Co-op is one of the major suppliers of liquid milk to shops and supermarkets in the Irish market alongside Aurivo, Glanbia and Strathroy Dairies.
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