Growth and innovation help cultivate our Agri-food sector – Hamilton

Date published: 30 November 2016

Economy Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA, has visited Moy Park Ltd and Gilfresh Produce to hear how continuous growth and innovation can benefit the Agri-food sector.

Growth and innovation help cultivate our Agri-food sector – Hamilton
Growth and innovation help cultivate our Agri-food sector – Hamilton

Speaking after meeting staff and receiving tours of the respective plants he said: “The Agri-food sector is essential to the local economy and I am encouraged to see how two of Northern Ireland’s largest producers within the sector are going from strength to strength.

“I was particularly impressed by Moy Park’s recent upgrades to its Dungannon plant. 

“With assistance from Invest Northern Ireland, Moy Park has improved efficiencies in its operations by installing a new cutting line, grading line, and refrigeration system, positioning the Dungannon base as one of the leading poultry processing facilities in the UK.

“The physical improvements combined with a greater focus on management development, continuous improvement and supply chain management will ensure Moy Park continues to maintain its position as Northern Ireland’s largest, and one of Europe’s leading, food companies.”

Speaking from Gilfresh Produce in Loughgall the Minister added: “Gilfresh Produce is a great local success story, expanding from a small family business in Loughgall to a leading vegetable packer across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“Its forward thinking and innovative approach to business has helped to deliver this success and I was particularly impressed by the anaerobic digestion plant which uses waste vegetables to provide power to run the business. 

“Gilfresh’s continued innovation and commitment to growth and quality resulted in the business winning the Northern Ireland’s Agri-food Business of the Year at the 2016 Farming Life / Danske Bank Awards and I would like to congratulate owner Thomas Gilpin on receiving the much deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Moy Park is the second largest company in the UK poultry sector, employing over 12,000 people across 13 processing facilities in Northern Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Ireland. It has received Invest NI offers of support of £11.9m over the last three years.
  2. Gilfresh Produce sources over 2,500 acres of field vegetables and salad crops from 40 local growers including more unusual vegetables like Pak Choi and Celeriac. The company supplies  major supermarkets across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland    They employ around 130 staff and have received Departmental funding though Invest Northern Ireland of £55,000 over a three year period.
  3. For media enquiries contact DFE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.
  4. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI
  5. Photos are available to accompany this news release.

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