IRISH drinks company C&C is pulling its cider operations out of Britain and focusing on Ireland – with a loss of 120 jobs in Somerset.
The brewery company, which owns staple cider brands Magners, Ye Olde English and Somerset Snuffler, is investing a massive €10million into its flagship manufacturing site in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
The C&C cider factory in Shepton Mallet is one of the largest cider factories in world but the company has cited the competitive nature of the industry as one of the main reasons the plant will move its production to Ireland.
Just four full-time and eight-part time staff will keep their jobs – and only on a seasonal basis.
But because of the laborious process of producing cider, it will come as welcome news to the town of Clonmel, where 80 new jobs are being created.
“This has been a difficult decision for the Group and it is sad that the consolidation of production at the Clonmel site is the only viable option to maintain long term competitiveness,” C&C said in a statement.
The rustic town of Shepton Mallet, about 20miles south of Bristol, has a long association with cider, brewing varieties of the apple-based beverage since 1770.
It is home to three international brewers now – the Gaymer Cider Company, the C&C subsidiary, Constellation Brands and Brothers Cider all produce their brews in Shepton Mallet – and though C&C is pulling out of the town, the other production factories will remain.
The C&C cider took over the Gaymer Cider Company in 2009. it is ironically a boost in cider’s popularity that has prompted the move.
The British cider industry brings in an estimated £1billion per year, which has prompted large multinational companies such as Stella Artois and Carlsberg to investing resources in cider production.
The company’s plans will not affect The Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow, which it also owns.
As yet, no details on when C&C will complete the move to Ireland.