Linden Foods opens new £10m meat processing facility
Northern Irish firm Linden Foods has opened a new meat processing facility that it predicts will create 85 new jobs over the next three years.
The Dungannon-based company produces processed beef and lamb under the Banquet Royale, Tasti and Chef Class brands, and also makes private label products for retail and foodservice customers including M&S, McDonald’s, Tesco and Bird’s Eye.
The new 5,740m2 premises is next door to Linden Foods’ existing processing site, which employs 435 staff, and stems from a £10m investment, while economic development agency Invest Northern Ireland has also provided European Regional Development Funding assistance totalling £497,000.
Cutting-edge facilities include an innovation centre with a development kitchen and preparation, production and dispatch areas. The firm predicts it can increase sales by 32% in the near future as a consequence, mostly to markets outside Northern Ireland.
Md Gerry Maguire said: “Linden Foods’ business strategy remains focused on innovation. We are committed to providing our customers with a range of exciting new products that are well ahead of current trends within the food retailing sector.
“This new facility… is the next natural step for the company’s growth and will allow us to bolster our position as market leader within the meat processing industry.”
Northern Irish enterprise minister Arlene Foster added: “These new facilities strengthen Linden Foods’ ability to increase productivity and expand its activity on new product development, both essential elements for future growth.
“The new packaging technology in this facility will also have clear benefits for end users and will position Linden as a leading provider of packed products for the retail market.”
Foster also hailed the food industry as a “key contributor to Northern Ireland’s economy, and one that has shown impressive resilience to the economic downturn, better than virtually any sector.”
Founded in 1998 after the Granville Meats merger, Linden Foods forms part of the Linden Food Group, which employs 1,100 staff across seven sites in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and England.