by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Henderson Foodservice is to integrate its newly acquired BD Foods and Foodco business operations into larger group with the loss of more than 100 jobs.  Monaghan based BD Foods (Barbarrie Duckling Limited) and Foodco whose distribution depots are in Ashbourne, County Meath and Lisburn become part of the Henderson Foodservice business in Mallusk.


BD’s base in Glaslough and Foodco’s depots in Ashbourne and Lisburn are to close and an estimated 115 job will go as a result of the merger.

Cathal Geoghegan, Henderson Foodservice’s Managing Director, explains, “You will know that the current COVID-19 pandemic has brought an unprecedented degree of trauma to our society and economies across the island of Ireland, in a way that was difficult for anyone to imagine even a short time ago.  As a company operating within the all-island foodservice sector, the ongoing crisis has particularly impacted us, and has seen our business activities severely curtailed due to the restrictions which have been placed upon the operational ability of many of our customers.

 Even with prospects of moves towards some sort of normality in the months ahead, it will be a very long time before our pre-COVID business returns. To that end, we have sought ways of protecting and strengthening the business by streamlining and centralising operations and resources, with the ability to more quickly react to our customer’s needs.

Coupled with this proposed change to our physical infrastructure, we are also considering the integration of the associated organisational structures, which could enable us to introduce a single consolidated leadership team overseeing any new merged business.

Due to these proposals, we regret that we will to need to consider potential reductions in the numbers employed within our business. Whilst the ultimate number and identity of roles that may be reduced will be determined through the upcoming consultative processes, we estimate that under these proposals the total jobs at risk might be around 115, spread across the various companies (HFL, Foodco and BD Foods) within our foodservice business.”

 Whilst this is a challenging proposal, Henderson Foodservice is confident that a successful integration would enable the company to continue to develop the business throughout the island of Ireland, delivering through an efficient distribution network and working closely with suppliers to provide a fantastic range for their customers.


Cathal continues, “We would be retaining the most salient products and services from BD Foods and Foodco and incorporating them into the Henderson Foodservice business. Both companies have unrivalled knowledge of the catering market, particularly in the Republic of Ireland, and it would be our intention to keep as much of that expertise as possible.”


BD Foods, which was purchased by Henderson Foodservice in 2018, was established in 1990. It supplies a wide range of fresh, frozen and dry goods to the premium food sector specifically the hotel and high-end restaurant business. The company’s Glaslough base employs 48 people.


Foodco was acquired by Henderson Foodservice in 2019. With distribution depots in Lisburn and Ashbourne, County Meath. Foodco operates a fleet of multi-temperature vehicles supplying products to the food service industry throughout Ireland. The Ashbourne depot employs 28 people whilst in Lisburn there is a team of 22.


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