Invest Northern Ireland is supporting a £275,000 expansion plan by Wilson Agriculture (Wilson Agri), the Coleraine based manufacturer of dairy cow comfort products.
The expansion, which will increase export sales was announced today by Andrew Wilson, the company’s managing director, and welcomed by Mary Gormley, Invest NI’s North West Regional Office (NWRO) Manager. The investment is expected to provide four new jobs by the end of next year and will see the company develop its first range of equine comfort products for a market opportunity it has identified.
Mr Wilson, outlining the expansion plan, said: ”We manufacture and supply a range of branded products, including special stalls, mats and pillows, that help farmers to increase milk production by improving comfort and safety for dairy cows.
“Dairy farmers everywhere are now facing intense pressure on margins and are recognising increasingly that yields rise significantly when their animals are housed in conditions that enable them to lie down safely and prevent potentially very costly conditions such as lameness and mastitis.
“As a result, demand for the cow pillows and mats that we have developed for farmers over many years is growing steadily. This investment includes substantial expenditure on marketing, assisted by Invest NI, that will enable us to take advantage of new business opportunities, particularly in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
“The investment will also enable us to diversify our portfolio by introducing a new product, Stable Comfort, aimed at the vast equestrian marketplace that builds on our experience in, and knowledge of, the dairy sector. There are over two million horses in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, each requiring six mats,” he added.
Mrs Gormley said: “Wilson Agri is very good at what it does and has high levels of customer satisfaction. It also benefits from a well-established reputation and credibility for quality products and excellent customer service.
“It has demonstrated success since 1999 and with the enhanced marketing should be able to maximise on opportunities which are available. The move into Stable Comfort also opens up a totally new and potentially very lucrative market.
“Our support is geared to enable it to consolidate the strengths of the business and build on them as it moves forward,” she added.