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Ministry of Defence switches supplier contract to Far East

The Ministry of Defence has appointed a firm which manufactures in the Far East to handle its £5m sock supply contract, ending its established relationship with British manufacturer HJ Hall.

Cooneen Watts and Stone, formed in 2004 and based in Northern Ireland, will supply the Armed Forces with 2.5 million pairs of socks over the next four years, the Telegraph reported.

Cooneen Watts and Stone manufactures in the Far East and supplies garments to the police and military.

HJ Hall, which had supplied the MoD for 80 years and employs 75 people, warned of job redundancies following the loss of the contract.

“I don’t think it is right that men who are out there defending the country in all weathers should be wearing the cheapest socks the MoD can get,” HJ Hall sales and marketing director Anton Jenkins, told the newspaper.

A MoD spokesman said: “Following an open tender process, a new contract to provide socks was awarded to Cooneen Watts and Stone, who offered the best value for money to meet our requirements. We would like to thank HJ Hall for the contribution they have made.”

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