The following is the text of the official notification from JTI of their intention to proceed with closure of their Ballymena plant.
Statement from JTI announcing that the Company will continue the consultation based on its initial proposal to close its Lisnafillan manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland.
This announcement was made following a meeting with Unite the Union and other employee representatives.
Challenging regulatory and operating environment – JTI has fought very hard against plain packaging proposals in the UK and the EU’s Tobacco Product Directive 2 (banning cigarettes packs under 20 and handrolling packs under 30g), as well as the illicit trade, but our business must prepare for the negative consequences of these.
Around 80% of Lisnafillan cigarette production is for the UK and the Republic of Ireland. From 2009 to 2014, Lisnafillan cigarette production declined by 27%.
These declines will be exacerbated by the implementation of TPD2 which bans small packs – 81% of our current pack formats will be prohibited, which means that 40% of the overall production at Lisnafillan will be affected.
Consultation – After conducting consultations and having carefully considered all the proposals presented to us, the Company has come to the conclusion that our initial proposal to close the Lisnafillan facility remains the most viable option for JTI in the long-term.
Northern Ireland – We recognise the effect that this announcement could have and we will work together with local leaders and politicians to address the needs of the community.