Extensive training and development initiative at dairy company

Coleraine firm Dairy Produce Packers is investing over £400,000 in a staff training and development project, supported by Invest Northern Ireland.

Dairy Produce Packers, part of the Kerry Group, is a market leader in the production and distribution of cheese slices for the retail and foodservice sectors.

Invest NI has offered £121,201, part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), towards the total investment.

Niall Casey, Invest NI’s Director of Business Improvement Services, said: “Through this project, Dairy Produce Packers is boosting the skills levels of staff to develop its capability and ensure that it remains in a strong market position.

“The enhanced skills of the company’s workforce are helping Dairy Produce Packers develop a more efficient, leaner overall operation, and the improved processes are contributing to increased business productivity.”

William Haslett, Financial Controller of Dairy Produce Packers, said: “As a large organisation which has grown consistently over the years, it is important that we focus on lean manufacturing and efficient processes. This helps us to reduce costs and gain a competitive advantage over our counterparts.

“It is important that we continually strive to find ways to improve our operations and fully exploit the associated cost saving opportunities as we grow our company further. This programme of staff training and development, being implemented with support from Invest NI and the EU, is helping us to maximise the potential of our employees and add value to our business.”

Dairy Produce Packers’ clients in the fast food sector throughout Europe include McDonald’s and other quick service restaurant chains. It also supplies major supermarkets in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The company employs around 260 people in Coleraine and is a Kerry Group Centre of Excellence.