‘Every day is a struggle to keep on top of things’ – food makers in the face of soaring energy bills

A businessman whose electric bill has nearly quadrupled in recent months is now considering installing solar panels to keep his business sustainable.

Ryan Lynch, who owns award-winning Lynch Salads in Ardee, Co Louth, says his bill has gone from €3,700 for a 59-day period to €6,300 for 27 days, a “dramatic” jump

Now he’s considering investing in solar panels to cut costs at his 840-square-foot manufacturing facility in the city’s commercial zone, where the company, which employs 25 people, makes more than 20 types of lettuce and a variety of sandwich fillers.

Established 27 years ago, Lynch Salads supplies the Musgrave Group, which supplies SuperValu and Centra, and BWG, which supplies Mace, Londis, Spar and EuroSpar.

However, Mr Lynch believes it will be impossible for some companies to go as far down the journey of adopting green energy solutions as they would like.

“We run chillers here all day, every day, so energy prices are having a huge impact on us,” he said.

“In some cases, companies feel they are being held back by cost and time, as some solar panels require planning permission, which can incur additional costs and takes at least three months to complete. I would also like to get electric vans, but I have found that the battery is not suitable for running both the refrigeration unit and the van at the same time.

“We struggle with cost increases every day. We’ve tried to absorb as much migration as possible, but part of that needs to be passed on to the end consumer, and that’s the consumer.

“People say we’re going to raise the price and just jump on the wagon, but that’s not the case at all. We’re a small company trying to compete with the multinationals, so we’re doing our best to continue having purchasing power as strong as everyone else

“It’s not just electricity, it’s diesel, it’s gas for cooking, it’s labels, it’s packaging. Within a year the price of a cardboard box for our products has gone from 27 cents to 52 cents each and we know they will be discarded and we have switched to boxes as much as possible but the cardboard is always to our business still necessary.

“We don’t like making increases for the customer but unfortunately if that doesn’t happen we won’t survive,” he told LMFM radio.

“People have been very supportive and there are many other local businesses in the same boat as me.

“Every day is a constant struggle to stay on top of things. There are empty offices all over Ireland with lights on all night, there are motorways lit up at 3am with three cars on them.

“We have to take care of the easy stuff and the hard stuff will take care of itself.”

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/every-day-is-a-battle-in-trying-to-keep-on-top-of-things-food-producer-on-facing-rising-energy-bills-41987353.html ‘Every day is a struggle to keep on top of things’ – food makers in the face of soaring energy bills

Fry Electronics Team

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