Jobs lost as historic beer mat firm moves to Germany

WORKERS at a Huddersfield firm with a 136-year history are to lose their jobs.

BEER MAT BUSINESS MOVING TO GERMANY

WORKERS at a Huddersfield firm with a 136-year history are to lose their jobs.

Manufacturing at the Katz Quarmby Group – famous for printing millions of beer mats – is to switch to Germany in the new year.

It will mean most of the remaining workers at the firm’s Brighouse site will be redundant.

The firm was formerly Quarmby Promotions, founded in 1872 and for decades based in Britannia Road, Milnsbridge.

It was taken over by the German-owned Katz group and moved to Sherwood Road, Brighouse, and to Morley two years ago.

At its peak, the firm employed more than 80 people in Huddersfield but the production side is now down to 12 people.

Chief executive officer Garry Hobson confirmed manufacturing was to switch to Germany, in a continuation of a plan to integrate production.

But he said the creative design and sales teams would remain in West Yorkshire, at Morley.

“Sadly, it is a sign of the economic times.

“We still have a 70% share of the beer mat production across the world but pubs are closing on a regular basis, as has been reported.

“Our manufacturing base in Germany is fully integrated, which means we bring in the trees, pulp them down and produce the hards for the printing on one site.

“We have been transferring our production from the UK over the past two years and we are now in talks with our staff in Brighouse”.

The firm still owns the former Britannia Road mills in Milnsbridge, having seen a deal to sell it to a developer collapse..

One worker, who asked not to be named, said: “We are stunned. There are plenty of orders and we are busy, but they have told us now that all production is moving to Germany in January.”

*Quarmby Promotions was formed in 1872 as a packaging business and began making drip mats in 1931.

*It has sold more than 9.5bn beer mats and is the world’s largest producer of drip mats, with operations in the UK, Germany and Belgium.

*The company has customers in more than 50 countries, including ones in Europe, North and South America and south-east Asia.

*Customers have included Bulmers, Tennents, Stella Artois, Thwaites and Mitchells and Butlers.

 

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