Picture by Parkway Photography
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Seamus Carr, Managing Director, Vion.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced that Vion Food UK Ltd is investing £11.5million to enhance its processing facilities in Cookstown, with the creation of 164 new jobs.
Vion’s operation in Cookstown forms part of the Vion Food Group which is headquartered in the Netherlands. The Cookstown facility is the largest pig processing site in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and among the largest in the UK, producing pork, sausages, bacon and cooked meats.
The company’s investment will enable it to install new equipment, which will improve animal welfare and increase processing capacity. It is also investing in improved chilling technology, as some of the existing chills date back to the original construction of the plant in 1938.
Invest Northern Ireland has offered Vion £960,000, which includes £244,500 of support through its Jobs Fund.
Arlene Foster said: “This investment is a tremendous boost and another example of Invest Northern Ireland’s Jobs Fund supporting the creation of new employment opportunities.
“The enhancements to the company’s processing facilities will allow it to become more efficient and increase profitability as well as ensuring that the pigs are handled in the most humane way possible.
“Vion anticipates a significant increase in sales as a result of this investment and will ensure the company continues to play a strategic role in sustaining the important Northern Ireland pork sector.”
As well as selling its products under the Cookstown brand the company, which currently employs over 700 people, supplies major customers such as Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury, ASDA, Henderson Group, Musgrave, Samworth Bros and Dew Valley.
With the enhanced processing equipment in place the Vion facility in Cookstown will continue to underpin the future sustainability of the Northern Ireland pig industry.
Seamus Carr, Managing Director of Vion said: “Our strategy is to build on the success of the Cookstown brand by investing in our people and in our processes. We anticipate a substantial increase in productivity and sales as a result of this investment. Invest NI’s support has meant we can move forward quickly with the project and ensure the continuing viability of the facility in Cookstown.”