Upwards of 40 jobs are at risk with the announcement that Henderson Foodservice is to merge BD Foods and Foodco into the parent company.

Henderson Foodservice is proposing that, from the end of July 2020, both BD Foods and Foodco would become part of the Henderson Foodservice business in Mallusk. BD’s base in Glaslough and Foodco’s depots in Ashbourne and Lisburn would close as a result of this move.

BD Foods was established in 1990 by the parents of former Ireland rugby player Tommy Bowe and supplies a range of fresh, frozen and dry goods to the premium food sector, and has a particularly strong foothold in high end restaurants and hotels. It was acquired by Henderson Foodservice in 2018.

Foodco has distribution depots in Lisburn and Ashbourne, Co. Meath, and operates a fleet of multi-temperature vehicles supplying to operators throughout Ireland. It was acquired by Henderson Foodservice in 2019.

Cathal Geoghegan, Henderson Foodservice’s Managing Director, said: “As a company operating within the all-island foodservice sector, the ongoing crisis has particularly impacted us, and has seen our business activities severely curtailed due to the restrictions which have been placed upon the operational ability of many of our customers.

“Even with prospects of moves towards some sort of normality in the months ahead, it will be a very long time before our pre-COVID business returns. To that end, we have sought ways of protecting and strengthening the business by streamlining and centralising operations and resources, with the ability to more quickly react to our customer’s needs.

“Coupled with this proposed change to our physical infrastructure, we are also considering the integration of the associated organisational structures, which could enable us to introduce a single consolidated leadership team overseeing any new merged business.

“Due to these proposals, we regret that we will to need to consider potential reductions in the numbers employed within our business. Whilst the ultimate number and identity of roles that may be reduced will be determined through the upcoming consultative processes, we estimate that under these proposals the total jobs at risk might be around 115, spread across the various companies (HFL, Foodco and BD Foods) within our foodservice business.”

Cathal continued: “We would be retaining the most salient products and services from BD Foods and Foodco and incorporating them into the Henderson Foodservice business. Both companies have unrivalled knowledge of the catering market, particularly in the Republic of Ireland, and it would be our intention to keep as much of that expertise as possible.”

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