Evron Foods, the Craigavon-based manufacturer of speciality breads, is investing almost £3 million to increase sales and profitability over the next three years. The expansion, which will also provide additional employment opportunities at the company’s Carn plant, is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland.
The investment was announced by Morris Evans, Evron’s Managing Director, and welcomed by Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI’s Food Division Director, at the company’s plant in Carn, Craigavon.
Mr Evans, outlining the expansion plan, said: “This is an important strategic investment for us in terms of product innovation and the services that we provide to our customers including the Subway chain of sandwich bars which sources par-baked bread from us. It will also enable us to develop other business opportunities that we have identified for our expertise in quality chilled and frozen bakery products.
“Our aim is to achieve a 44 per cent increase in sales over the next 12 months through greater automation of Subway products, removing direct labour and redeploying people to other growth areas of our business that we have identified. We are also investing in a new marketing initiative that will significantly raise the profile of our successful Easibake brand. Already 19 of the 24 new jobs anticipated as a result of the expansion are in place.
“The driving force behind this investment is our commitment to offer existing and potential customers the innovative products they want to meet market demand for new and different tastes together with a responsive service. We offer products that deliver the freshest flavour and are in tune with today’s demand for convenience.”
He continued: “Innovation is a prerequisite not only for success but for survival within our industry. As well as being the lifeblood of the business for many years, it has been one of our unique selling propositions and has helped us to compete successfully against some of the biggest players in the sector,”
Mr Mawhinney said: “Evron has a deserved reputation as an innovative and market-driven company. Over the years the company has developed an impressive range of successful products for different segments of the marketplace including garlic breads, ciabattas and mini-slices.
“Through its focus on providing new eating experiences and continuous investment in people, plant and marketing the company is now firmly positioned at the forefront of the speciality bread business in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Its ongoing commitment to quality is reflected in the fact it operates to British Retail Consortium (Higher Level) Accreditation for both its Craigavon and Welsh plants.
“This ethos has driven its success in a very competitive industry and in the past three years it has seen turnover grow by 50 per cent,” he added.
Evron produces bread for retail multiples such as Asda, Waitrose, Dunnes and the Subway chain as well as independent retailers and convenience stores. In 2006 it opened a production plant at Pontypool in Wales as a base for accelerated growth in Great Britain.