A £25m state-of-the-art facility mushroom production facility has been opened in Co. Tyrone which is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.
The development by Northway Mushrooms, Ballygawley, has led to the creation of 20 jobs.
Northway Mushrooms, which was established in 2000, is a producer organisation that aims to help members achieve and maintain a competitive edge through support measures that help reduce ‘costs, maximise yield, improve product quality and by simplifying the route to market.
The organisationrepresents 20 mushroom businesses from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Northway Mushrooms says that the substrate site “guarantees that growers have a consistent, high quality supply of substrate to improve yields and produce a quality mushroom”.
The facility also houses advanced technology that neutralises odours from the compost making process.
Northway Mushrooms CEO, Elaine Shaw said; “The substrate produced is of the highest quality, allowing growers to maximise yields and improve their competitiveness.
“Many growers have already seen an increase in yield, allowing them to overcome issues brought about during difficult trading conditions, such as international currency fluctuations.
“The facility is truly a game-changer for our local mushroom industry and gives Northway members more control over their supply chain, cushioning us against Brexit headwinds while providing us with the opportunity to fill the demand for quality UK/Irish produce.
“The support from our members, the wider agri and food manufacturing industry, and our funding partner, First Trust Bank, on this project has been fantastic. It takes knowledge sharing across sectors to innovate and through this facility, we’ve managed to shorten the supply chain and give our growers a solid foundation from which to grow further.”
Adrian Moynihan, Head of First Trust Bank welcomed the investment and the example it sets to other businesses, saying “collaboration has been the cornerstone of Northway Mushroom’s success.
“Working with its members north and south, they identified an opportunity for growth and worked with industry experts and local stakeholders to bring this unique facility to fruition.
“We were impressed by Northway’s innovative approach to planning, problem-solving and funding, which combined with our knowledge of the sector and financial services, helped ensure the successful delivery of this world class facility.
“It also demonstrates our own commitment to supporting the business and corporate market in Northern Ireland and we are proud to be part of such a ground-breaking project.
“We congratulate Northway’s members, Elaine and the team on the opening of this flagship facility and the example of innovation and resilience it sets the wider business community.”