Fleming Agri-Products, based at New Buildings, Co Londonderry, has invested almost £1 million to increase efficiency, develop its range of products and expand its business in markets outside Northern Ireland.
The company, which is taking part in the Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to Hong Kong and China from 27th November to 7th December, designs, manufactures and markets a broad range of agricultural machinery, including Grass Toppers, Land-rollers, Bale handling equipment, Transport boxes and yardscrapers, as well as countryside care equipment such as Grass Shredders and finishing mowers.
The Investment is being backed by Invest NI and is expected to provide around 20 new jobs over the next two years. The company currently employs 46 people at New Buildings.
Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, announcing the new investment with George Fleming, Managing Director of Fleming Agri-Products, said: “This is a significant and growing business within the agri-business sector and also in the North West.
“This important strategic investment will strengthen the company’s competitive position; create opportunities for product diversification; and support its focus on exports to Europe and further afield.
“Our support is geared to help the company increase its overall capability in crucially important areas such as management, R&D and international marketing. The mission to Hong Kong and China will enable the company to explore opportunities in this market and to develop contacts that could also help to strengthen its competitive position in its target markets. The commitment to ongoing investment in R&D will enable the company to stay ahead of its competitors,” she added.
Mr Fleming said: “This investment is the result of our strategic focus on initiatives to achieve faster growth by developing and sustaining a profitable export driven business.
“While we have experienced considerable success over the years, particularly in markets such as Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, we know that we need to develop new ideas and designs, diversify our markets and be much more strategic in our approach to ensure the company strengthens its competitive advantage. Our sales, for instance, are well ahead of the sector average, and we want to maintain this position.
“As well as investing in new products and marketing, we aim to achieve continuous improvement in performance by expanding our facilities, strengthening quality control and through the introduction of techniques such as lean manufacturing,” added Mr Fleming.
Prior to the expansion Fleming Agri-Product occupied a two acre site with 27,000 sq ft of manufacturing facilities. The company plans to purchase an adjoining 2.5 acres and build an additional 15,000 sq ft onto the current factory.