The Argus - - NEWS - By OLIVIA RYAN

THE Au­then­tic Food Com­pany (TAFC) which called in liq­uida­tors to its Dun­dalk fa­cil­ity last month, ben­e­fit­ted from a number of gov­ern­ment grand aids, it has emerged.

Hav­ing bought the former Heinz plant in 2015, the UK based Au­then­tic Foods were awarded state grant sup­ports, which were out­lined by Min­is­ter Heather Humphries in the Dail.

Speak­ing on the gov­ern­ment’s re­sponse to the clo­sure,the Min­is­ter said:

‘ The an­nounce­ment by the Au­then­tic Food Com­pany that it is to close down is very dis­ap­point­ing. The Gov­ern­ment’s im­me­di­ate con­cern is for those work­ers di­rectly af­fected by this an­nounce­ment in this very dif­fi­cult time for them and their fam­i­lies. The Gov­ern­ment will make ev­ery State sup­port avail­able to these em­ploy­ees.’

My Depart­ment, through En­ter­prise Ire­land (EI), has had a strong ac­tive en­gage­ment with the Au­then­tic Food Com­pany be­fore, dur­ing and since they ac­quired their Dun­dalk fa­cil­ity. EI has sup­ported the com­pany with grant aid in the forms of Lean Trans­form, mul­ti­ple Tech­ni­cal Fea­si­bil­ity Stud­ies and an In­no­va­tion Part­ner­ship with Dun­dalk In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy. The EI Brexit Unit ser­vices were also made avail­able to the com­pany.

She out­lined seven meet­ings be­tween EI and the Au­then­tic Food Com­pany held in 2017 and three meet­ings have taken place to date in 2018. ‘In ad­di­tion, as Mr Bas­ran is based in the UK, two phone calls were held re­cently with Mr. Bas­ran,’ said the Min­is­ter.

‘We will col­lec­tively, across Gov­ern­ment, do our ut­most to help these work­ers tran­si­tion and find new em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Notwith­stand­ing this ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing news, it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that the over­all trend in terms of job cre­ation in the re­gion is pos­i­tive. There is ev­ery rea­son to be con­fi­dent that we will find new in­vest­ment and new op­por­tu­ni­ties for the em­ploy­ees of the Au­then­tic Food Com­pany.’

The locked gates of the TAFC premises.

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