Uncertainty surrounds the future of one of Northern Ireland’s premier poultry suppliers, FarmFed Chickens.

The Coleraine-based company announced last Friday (27 January) that it was launching a 90-day consultation with its 380-strong workforce about its future. All options would be considered.

A spokesman said the company had run into difficulties because of increasing feed and fuel costs, stiffer competition from imports and a declining end price.

The company lost a key contract with supermarket J Sainsbury last year.

FarmFed Chicken was judged the province’s “most progressive supplier” in the 2002 Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Awards.

Some 58 farmer suppliers could be affected by any closure or downsizing of the business.