150 jobs are set to go at pet treat manufacturer Rondo Food, based in Arklow in Co Wicklow, when it closes at the end of January. 

The company's German owners have decided to move work carried out at the Arklow facility to Krefeld in Germany.

The company said the decision was made that after evaluating all its options.

It added that all staff have been offered redundancy packages which exceed the scale of the mandatory statutory redundancy packages.

"We deeply regret this development. For eight years our Irish staff have shown immense commitment in contributing to the development of the site," the company said. 

"We are very grateful for both their dedication and for our long-standing cooperation with Enterprise Ireland. The unsatisfactory economic development and the market situation necessitate the bundling of operations at our largest location in Germany," it added in a statement.

It is understood that Brexit, the weakening German economy and global economic challenges are among the factors that are making trading conditions difficult for the plant.

Gaines Europe Ltd had been manufacturing pet treats in the Co Wicklow town since 1995. It was bought by Rondo Food in 2011 and the firm later moved its operations to a larger factory on the south quay in 2013.

Workers at the factory told RTÉ News that they were angry and frustrated at the news of the job losses. 

It is understood that the factory is due to close for the Christmas period on the 21 December and it is unclear how many workers will return here in January as operations are wound down. 

Local Sinn Féin TD John Brady said the job losses are devastating for the area, but he said the news hasn't come as a surprise for many of the workers. 

He described Arklow as being an unemployment blackspot, saying there has been a number of large job losses in recent years and "little or no" job creation. 

Mr Brady said this had been a failure of successive governments and called this evening for a "whole of Government response" in this area. 

Responding to the announcement today, Enterprise minister Heather Humphreys said her thoughts are with the workers and their families. 

"Enterprise Ireland has been engaging intensively with the company to see if it was possible to find a solution and avert the job losses. Unfortunately, however, this has not proved possible", she said. 

Minister Humphreys said that all state supports will be available to employees and that "The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection is aware of the situation and we will be collectively, across Government, doing our utmost to help these workers transition and find new employment opportunities. 

The staff of the Workplace Relations Commission will be available to meet the employees concerned, either individually or collectively, to discuss their employment rights."

She added that there has been positive jobs growth in recent years but that "announcements like this show that we can never become complacent or take any jobs for granted."

According to Rondo Food, its goal was to use the Arklow production facility to develop its business outside Europe. Rondo Food invested €6m in the new plant.

"Over the past few years, there have been considerable investments in modernisation, new technologies, logistics and in the employment of specialists," the company said.

"Despite these efforts, the necessary turnover has not been reached in order to achieve viable financial results for the company."

Workers at Rondo are not represented by a union, but there is a workers' committee and assistance of the Workplace Relations Commission has been sought.

Accounts for 2018 show that the Rondo Food Ireland made a loss after depreciation of €1,592,280, up from a loss of €759,312 the previous year.

In 2018, the turnover was €13,563,774.

The accounts also explain that during last year the firm reorganised its layout and setup of its production facility, reduced its work-in-progress and manual packaging and dealt with an unexpected reduction in sales from its biggest US customers due to a change of ownership.