Foyle Meats Embarks on Ambitious Export Drive

Foyle Meats in Londonderry is investing over £0.5 million in implementing an ambitious marketing strategy to boost its export sales.

The investment was announced by Leslie Morrison, Chief Executive of Invest Northern Ireland which is supporting the project. It aims to enable Foyle Meats to recapture and expand its share of the export market, damaged in recent years by the BSE and Foot and Mouth crises.

Foyle Meats specialises in the processing of vacuum packed beef primals and an added value range of lamb cuts, selling its products to a high-class portfolio of customers in the UK and Europe, including Tesco and Albert Heijn.

The investment will allow the company to recruit a European Sales Manager to manage the marketing of the company, which will initially target 12 European countries. A company website and new corporate identity is also to be developed, tailored to each export market.

Leslie Morrison comments: “Strong export sales are essential for growth both for individual companies and for the economy as a whole. After a few years of being unable to export due to the ban on British beef, the company can now export under the Date Based Export Scheme. This, combined with the falling value of sterling against the euro, means that the conditions are right for Foyle Meats to focus on developing its export sales.

“The company has several competitive advantages including state-of-the-art production facilities, a fully integrated supply chain with comprehensive product traceability and a skilled workforce. It has proved its ability to adapt to meet changing customer needs and has plans to embark on further product development to ensure that it stays ahead of the competition.

“Invest NI’s support for this project is another example of our commitment to strengthening the northwest economy, embodied in our North West Action Plan. Our vision is to create a vibrant and modern economy in the region and over the next few years we’ll be committing some £60 million towards achieving this.”

Foyle Meats, which currently employs 250, will initially undertake comprehensive market research to allow it to develop a market entry strategy for each targeted country.

Terry Acheson, Managing Director, of Foyle Meats says: “We believe that there are excellent opportunities for Foyle Meats in Europe. The support from Invest NI is allowing us to take forward an aggressive marketing plan within a fairly tight timeframe. We anticipate that it could generate up to £5 million in revenue for the Group.”