A huge investment of £170 million by leading agri-food firm Moy Park is set to bring 628 new jobs ultimately worth as much as £10.5m a year to the local economy.
One of the largest jobs announcements of recent years, the major expansion programme by one of Northern Ireland’s leading firms across sites in Dungannon, Craigavon and Ballymena was hailed by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster as a significant event for the province as a whole.
“This investment, which will mean a £10.5m increase in wages and salaries annually for the local economy, is a huge boost of confidence in Northern Ireland as a European food production and manufacturing centre of excellence by a world leading company,” she said.
“The expansion will further enhance Moy Park’s contribution to the local economy by enabling the business to achieve a substantial growth in sales, mostly to customers outside Northern Ireland, by 2018.”
Mrs Foster was speaking during a visit to the firm where she met Chief Executive Janet McCollum
“Moy Park started as a small farming company in 1943 and has grown into a top UK business with a £1.5 billion turnover,” said Ms McCollum.
“We continue to have big ambitions and this investment will allow us to further grow our operations and create new jobs in Northern Ireland.”
The investment by Moy Park, part of the Brazilian Marfrig Group, will include additional processing lines and the establishment of an innovation centre, which will drive new product development, as well as financial services - a new role for the Craigavon site.
The new jobs, 100 of which are already in place, include roles in management, supervisory, processing and financial shared services.
“We have been able to demonstrate to international investors like Marfrig that we will work with them to ensure Northern Ireland is the right European location to successful grow their business,” added Mrs Foster.
The announcement, she said, was a sign of Marfrig’s ongoing commitment to Northern Ireland. The new jobs are being created over a four year period, with a variety of roles available including 70 high value posts based in the new Innovation Centre.”
Invest Northern Ireland is providing financial assistance of £9.5 million towards the expansion.
Marfrig Global Foods CEO, Sergio Rial said: “We are committed to growing our operations in Northern Ireland and this investment, with support from Invest Northern Ireland, helps us to achieve that. We have had ongoing, positive engagement with the Northern Ireland Executive and have experienced a very pro-business attitude.”