Minister praises meat company's focus on exports

Economy Minister Arlene Foster has praised Kettyle Foods in Lisnaskea, for its commitment to developing export markets.

The Minister was speaking during a visit to the company’s beef processing plant at Manderwood Park, where she met with Managing Director Maurice Kettyle. Kettyle Foods produces a premium range of dry aged beef from grass fed Aberdeen Angus and Hereford herds.

Ms Foster said: “Kettyle Foods is a successful, ambitious local business, employing 15 members of staff. It has an impressive track record in the development of innovative beef products that meet the demands of customers across Northern Ireland, Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and Europe.

“Underpinning its high levels of success, is a progressive approach to the skills development of its staff, to innovation across the business, including its product portfolio, to customer service and its sharp focus on continuous improvement in all its processes.

“This approach and management’s close attention to customer service is enabling the company to win and maintain significant business from some of the most prestigious restaurants, hotels and up-market caterers in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and further afield.”

The Minister believes Kettyle Foods is an example to other small food companies of how best to achieve growth in today’s competitive markets.

She said: “With the assistance and encouragement from Invest Northern Ireland’s marketing initiatives, which include extensive support for the red meat sector, Kettyle Foods has successfully targeted the retail sector, securing contracts with Marks & Spencer and Dunnes Ireland.

“Company sales outside Northern Ireland currently contribute to around 74% of turnover. Overall sales are projected by management to double over the next three years.”

The Minister recognises the contribution of the food and drink industry to the economic well-being of rural communities, in particular, across Northern Ireland and is committed to its future growth.

Ms Foster said: “Kettyle is one of many food companies which are benefiting substantially from the range of supportive initiatives and programmes being provided by Invest NI over many years.

“These initiatives include the biggest-ever marketing programme for local food and drink companies in key markets including Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland, other parts of Europe and the US. These activities are focused on major retailers, niche market independent stores, caterers and wholesalers. Among other support for food companies to increase external and export sales are schemes to develop new products, improve brand recognition and to improve processes.

“Our aim is to assist companies in this most important sector to become more competitive and successful in markets outside Northern Ireland.”