Collins Dictionary states “If you describe something as state-of-the-art, you mean that it is the best available because it has been made using the most modern techniques and technology”
(Source: http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-thesaurus/state-of-the-art), which should at least in theory place companies with such infrastructure on a par if not ahead of their competition. So why did 104 workers at Dawn Fresh Foods, an affiliate of Q.K. Meats Group, Ireland’s largest privately owned agri-business, lose their permanent jobs yesterday?
The closure of a “state of the art” food production plant at a time when the Irish Government and related State agencies are pushing the line that food exports are our future with strategies in place to increase our current export reach from 36 million people to a staggering 50 million by 2020 just does not cut it.
Yes, the Dawn Fresh Foods (see http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/agribusiness-and-food/over-100-jobs-to-go-as-tipperary-food-firm-closes-1.1483112) brand has likely been tarnished by the recent horse meat scandal, but if this is the real reason for the closure surely then a wholesale product re-branding would be more appropriate in light of the potential job losses.
A “state of the art” food processing facility doesn’t just close overnight without “The Minister” being made aware beforehand, and once again we have a Minister expressing shock at the news from his own constituency.
Not exactly a confidence booster for the future success of our food industry if our “state of the art” food production facilities are going out of business, unless of course this particular state-of-the-art has little in common with how things work in the real world.