Pictured with Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell are Alo Duffy, Chairman Lakeland Dairies, Tim Acheson, Managing Director, Pritchitts and Michael Hanley, CEO, Lakeland Dairies.
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell has visited Pritchitts in Newtownards.
With 12 production lines the Newtownards site produces over 100,000 tonnes of dairy products including ice cream mixes, UHT milk, powdered desserts and flavoured milks. Pritchitts is a dairy foodservice arm of Lakeland Dairies co-operative.
Jonathan Bell said: “I am delighted to be back at Pritchitts having been here in September 2015 to officially open the Global Logistics Centre. It is testament to the company that I am back to see further development and the completion of their new state of the art loading bays.
“With sales of £4billion per annum, the agri-food industry is our largest manufacturing sector providing around 10% of all private sector employment and, with over 80% of our milk supply exported as dairy products, we need to ensure we create businesses that have the scale and efficiency to compete. Pritchitts is one such company, as the export award-winning dairy foodservice arm of Lakeland Dairies, employing over 200 people at Newtownards, they collect more than 400,000 litres of milk directly from Northern Ireland dairy farmers each day and contribute over £80million to the local economy. Working together, co-operatives and farmers can maintain world class practices and this will help to ensure an optimum milk price combined with sustainable profitability to ensure the continuing growth and development of the business.”
The Minister added: “Pritchitts has an impressive export record, sending products to over 70 countries worldwide and I am pleased to see the new development includes an enhancement of facilities and operations. This includes milk intake and processing systems with Invest Northern Ireland supporting Lakeland Dairies with a grant of £1.5million towards their overall investment plan. The development of these facilities will help the company to continue to build their competitive edge as they develop new opportunities in the global market and I wish them continuing success.”