Multimillion agri-food investments set to create 140 jobs

Three Irish agri-food companies are set to create 134 jobs over the next three years, it has been announced this morning.

Firstly, Westmeath company Green Farms Foods  plans to expand its operations with a €2.8m investment to create 30 new jobs. A leading producer of premium cooked meat products, Green Farm Foods will see the company double its production capacity to meet increasing demand for its products, allowing it expand its existing international markets and enter new markets.  The expansion will bring total employment in Green Farm Foods to 160.

Green Farm Foods was established in 1991 by Kenneth Greene and produces high-quality cooked meats for the Irish and export markets.  In 2005 the company launched its premium branded range of sliced cooked meats and today is the category leader selling into the retail and multiple market in Ireland.

All of Green Farm products are produced with 100 per cent natural ingredients.  Green Farm has grown impressively over the past 20 years, and through product innovation and market development they continue to grow the business.  More than 30 per cent of output is exported to the UK and mainland Europe.

Kenneth Greene, founder and CEO of Green Farm Foods, commented: “Green Farm Foods is committed to continuing to grow the business and increasing our international market share, and are delighted to have an opportunity to create more employment in the midlands.  We greatly appreciate the support from Enterprise Ireland in this, especially as we expand into foreign markets. I am especially pleased that we have achieved this growth while producing a 100 per cent natural and premium product, never compromising on quality. We look forward to continued growth this year and acknowledge the tremendous input of our wonderful staff in these achievements.”

Welcoming the announcement Michael Cantwell, Manager Food Division, Enterprise Ireland, said:  ‘Food is Ireland’s number one export sector and critically important to our economy and export-led growth. Enterprise Ireland has worked closely with Green Farm Foods in supporting its strategic investment and development to drive continued international growth.  This is a highly ambitious and innovative company.  Its success is a clear statement of how Irish food companies can expand their international reach, winning new exports and creating jobs at home.  We look forward to continuing to work with and support Green Farm Foods.”

Expansion

Also this morning, O’Brien Fine Foods in Co Kildare announced a  €3.1m expansion programme supported by Government to increase capacity and export market share to create 51 jobs in Timahoe over the next three years.

This strategic investment is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.  It will enable the company to invest in a  major new product development drive and expand operational capacity, all aimed at meeting increasing demand for its products and at accelerating the international roll-out of its highly successful product range.  Recruitment begins immediately and this will bring employment levels in the company to more than 275 people over the next three years.

O’Brien Fine Foods is a growing family business and has been in existence since 1978 supplying premium quality cooked hams and breakfast meats under the Brady Family and Rudds brands.  The company has driven significant sales growth and job creation over the last 10 years, through continued focus on staff, quality, innovation, service and strong retailer relationships.  The company is the largest family-owned cooked meats producer in Ireland and the only large cooked meats company that continues to source all Irish Bord Bia approved pork.

Making the announcement Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton TD said:  “Growing our food exports is a central part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.  Today’s announcement that O’Brien Fine Foods is investing in a major expansion programme and creating new jobs is great news for Kildare. This is a highly innovative company led by an ambitious and committed management team who are determined to grow its business and expand itsexport markets.  Indigenous companies like this, with its focus on innovation and exports, are a particular priority for the Government, as we seek to create the jobs we need.”

Bill O’Brien of O’Brien Fine Foods said: “We are delighted to announce the creation of these jobs within the company and local community.  We have always endeavaored to support the local Irish economy and especially the rural economy, through continuing to source only Irish pork.  We are supporting the local community through our new sponsorship of Kildare GAA county hurling and football teams.  We want to be known as a growing, successful Irish food company and a large indigenous employer.  The long-term expansion plans of the business are to further develop our presence in Ireland, coupled with particular growth in our exports.”

Export

Minister Bruton also this morning announced 53 new jobs in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan by Swift Fine Foods in its major €3.1m expansion programme over the next three years.

A leading producer of premium quality chilled and frozen ready meals for the retail trade and food service markets in the UK and Ireland, this strategic investment by Swift Fine Foods is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.

It will enable the company to invest in a  major new product development drive and expand operational capacity, all aimed at meeting increasing demand for its products and at accelerating the international roll-out of its highly successful product range.  Since receiving confirmation of support recruitment of staff has been ongoing. With continued support from Enterprise Ireland the company will see employment levels exceeding 80 over the next three years.

Swift Fine Foods is located in the Lough Egish Food Park in Castleblayney, a thriving centre of innovative Irish food companies. Since its launch two years ago Swift Fine Food’s premier brand Chef Cuisine readymeal range is now one of  the fastest-growing indigenous brands in the convenience meal sector, with widespread availability across all the multiple and symbol chains. The company has also produced own label products for Aldi and Super Value/Centra.

An innovator in its field with a major commitment to research Swift Fine Foods will launch several new products in the coming months, including our new Italian and gourmet home bistro range with its revolutionary Torus packaging.

Ted O’Neill, Chairman of the Board, of Swift Fine Foods, said: “Swift Fine Foods are committed to Irish producers and the finest Irish ingredients. We are delighted with the support Enterprise Ireland has given us and look forward to creating more exports and jobs on the back of this valuable investment.”

Welcoming the announcement Michael Cantwell, Manager Food Division, Enterprise Ireland, said:  “Today’s announcement helps underpin Ireland’s standing as a leader in the international food industry. Enterprise Ireland is delighted to support this investment and looks forward to working with Swift Fine Foods as they embark on this ambitious expansion and grow and develop their international sales – sustaining and creating jobs in Ireland.”

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