Dairygold is to cut staff working hours due to the downturn in milk production this year, with the processor reducing cheese production over the summer months.

"Unfortunately, due to milk volumes being 9% lower than 2023 year to date and the outlook for the year to be around 7% lower, Dairygold has no choice but to take measures to mitigate the impact of reduced milk volumes on the business and milk suppliers," a spokesperson for the processor told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“As a result, Dairygold has made the difficult decision to reduce cheese production over the summer months and allocate milk volumes elsewhere” within the company, she said.


A message sent to some Dairygold workers in one of the company’s plants, understood to be the Clonmel Road cheddar facility in Mitchelstown, in recent days stated that the worst-affected products are cheese, whey and whole milk powder.

It outlined a proposal to reduce all staff hours at the site by six hours per week and maintain the existing staff headcount on site until the end of September.

Dairygold's nutritionals campus in Mallow, Co Cork.

However, it warned that, pending a further review of milk supplies, it may be necessary to reduce staffing levels to three shifts.

Other sites are understood to have already made changes or are preparing to.

Mogeely stopped all Saturday and bank holiday work after Easter, while there is no overtime operating at the Mallow plant and a recruitment freeze has been put in place. Overtime is also understood to be cut at Castlefarm, Mitchelstown.

Primary focus

Dairygold said its primary commercial focus is to maximise the margins it can achieve, from its dairy product portfolio, by optimising its processing capacity and considering individual product returns.

“Dairygold acknowledges this creates uncertainty for employees, with whom it is consulting along with union representatives.

"Dairygold recognises the ongoing success of its strategy, relies on the support and flexibility we receive from our employees, which we very much appreciate,” it added.

Dairygold employs 1,300 people.