Mushroom job losses ‘Brexit’s fault’

The owner of a mushroom company has blamed the Brexit vote in the UK for the closure of his business which has put 70 people out of work.

Peter McDonald of Schiele and McDonald Mushrooms in Tipperary town told his staff yesterday of the decision to close the business which has been going for 17 years.

“We weren’t able to cope with the devaluation of the English pound as a result of the Brexit vote,” he said.

“It’s a business with a very tight margin as it is.”

He said margins were small in the mushroom industry in general and most of the trade is with the UK, leaving the sector particularly vulnerable following the UK’s referendum decision to leave the EU.

“It’s down to price. Your price is based on the strength of sterling… The whole thing is further compounded by the fact that Brexit has not only devalued the pound but brought a lot of uncertainty with it. That brings a lack of confidence.”

He said the referendum result had led to the business losing €10,000-€12,000 per week.

Schiele and McDonald Mushrooms started with 12 people in 1999 and grew to the point where, until yesterday, it employed 70.

It was one of the largest employers in the Tipperary town area.

Mr McDonald told the workers yesterday that the company was closing with immediate effect and said it was “a very emotive morning, and very upsetting for everybody involved”.


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