Economy Minister Nigel Dodds today announced a £2.9million investment to expand operations at Kerry Foods in Enniskillen.
The Minister announced the latest investment, which is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland, during a visit to the company’s processing plant at Carran Business Park.
The expansion will provide 17 new jobs over the next two years. Total employment at the factory, which produces a range of ready meals for the UK and Irish Republic markets, will rise to 161.
Mr Dodds, commenting on the expansion, which follows a £7million reinvestment by the group at Enniskillen in 2005, said: “This is a clear endorsement by the company of its employees’ capabilities and commitment to produce consistently high quality convenience foods for markets outside Northern Ireland.
“It is a major boost for one of our most significant manufacturing industries, particularly in County Fermanagh, where food processing is immensely important. The project will add significant value to an established and successful food processing operation, offer rewarding employment opportunities and contribute to the region’s economic development.
“This type of investment is consistent with the objectives set out in Invest NI’s Corporate Plan to increase sales outside Northern Ireland. It also meets a number of recommendations contained in the ‘Fit for Market’ Report, including the development of new products and measures that will generate substantial improvements in efficiency and productivity.”
Outlining the investment’s objectives, Declan McKee, Operations Manager at Enniskillen, said: “This expansion will enable us to double production capacity to meet the fast growing demand for our existing Mattessons Fridge Raiders Chicken Bites, to introduce additional flavours to this range, and to produce two new ready-to-eat products
“It will also involve measures, including the automation of the packing process and changes in the factory layout, to improve workflow that will strengthen our overall competitiveness.
“This investment is central to our strategy for continued growth of the business here, by ensuring that it is a first choice within the group for the production of convenience and other ready-to-eat foods, by building trust in existing and future brands through an uncompromising dedication to food safety and quality, and by maintaining a sharp focus on the needs of customers in all our markets.”
The Minister met members of the management team and employees during a tour of the plant which is being developed by Kerry Foods as one of its branded cooked convenience manufacturing facilities.