TAUNTON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 10/28/09 -- Researched by Protel Associates Limited in alliance with Industrial Info Europe (Galway, Ireland) -- In the U.K. and Irish Food & Beverage Industry, confidence remains fragile, but there are signs of slow recovery as the pre-Christmas production period looms. Site closures and rationalisation seem set to continue, with further site closures expected during the coming years as the industry consolidates. Examples of such closures include Northern Foods plc's (LSE:NFDS) pending closure of Cavaghan & Gray, the closure of East End Bakery in Glasgow, and the recent announcement of the intended closure of Scottish & Newcastle's Dunston brewery near Newcastle. Supermarkets, farmers and producers have seen the recession lead to a big drop in customer demand for organic produce and despite claiming to support the recovery of the organic segments, supermarkets such as Tesco plc (OTC:TSCDY) and ASDA Group have reduced the range of organic products on their shelves by a third. Although large players in the chilled ready-meals sector, including Northern Foods, have reported a lower level of sales over the summer, the market is recovering. Northern Foods is planning to invest in factories with scope for expansion and increased automation.
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