One of the main food-producing companies in the south-east has said it will continue to seek ways to reduce costs. Dawn Fresh Foods, which employs around 120 people in Fethard in County Tipperary, laid off 32 employees last weekend.

These were temporary workers, and the company says that over the past few years, it has been commonplace to have some lay-offs of temporary staff in the autumn. This is due primarily to the natural seasonal downturn in the company's foodservice business in the UK. Dawn Fresh Foods makes prepared meals for export.

A statement to RTE by the company's CEO Gerry Raftery says that since the majority of the company's exports are to the UK, it has been affected by the weaker sterling exchange rate against the euro and significantly higher costs.

Mr Raftery says that in this difficult trading environment, the company will continue to seek ways of improving its competitive position and reducing its costs.