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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 19 April, 2018

15 jobs to go as Oatfield factory to leave Donegal

The makers of the well-known Emerald toffee caramels – among other sweets – is moving production to the UK.

Oatfield are perhaps best known for their production of Emerald caramels.
Oatfield are perhaps best known for their production of Emerald caramels.

THE OATFIELD SWEETS factory in Donegal is to close with the loss of 15 jobs.

The company’s owner Zed Candy today confirmed it was moving production of the sweets from Letterkenny, where they have been in production for the best part of a century, to a factory in the UK.

The Oatfield operation has been in Donegal since 1927, when Ira and Haddon McKinley began production as Mayfield Confectionery at a shop in Letterkenny.

Later changing its name to Oatfield after a naming dispute with another confectioner, the company ceased production of wholesale sweets in 1960, concentrating on selling only Oatfield products.

The company is best known for its production of the Emerald toffee caramels, as well as its Colleen Assortment selection and Orange Chocolate products.

The company had cut 30 jobs last August and the remaining 15 positions will now be cut in four weeks’ time. It is understood that some of the staff at the plant have up to 40 years’ service.

Fears for the remaining jobs were heightened last month when it was reported that supermarket chain Lidl was in talks to buy the factory site.

Oatfield was acquired by Zed Candy, the makers of other products including Chewits, in 2007, though the site remains owned by Donegal Creameries PLC.

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Gavan Reilly

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