“The new facilities demonstrate Dunbia’s strong commitment to British food and sustainability,” said King, speaking at the official opening of the red meat processor’s plant, which Dunbia confirmed has created 75 jobs and could process up to one million Welsh, British and New Zealand lambs annually.
“Sainsbury’s has been involved throughout the development of the facility which will help us meet our target of doubling our sales of British food by 2020.”
In particular, the Dunbia plant, which is not solely dedicated to Sainsbury, has been designed with strong eco-friendly, cost-saving features.
It incorporates a refrigeration system, which is 40% efficient compared to traditional methods and an energy efficient lighting system, which is up to 70% more efficient than standard alternatives.
Other innovations include a de-boning method aimed at delivering higher yields than more basic systems.
Dunbia described the plant as “one of the most modern facilities of its kind in Europe”.
Carwyn Jones, First Minister for Wales, said the factory would also lend considerable momentum to Dunbia’s plans to grow exports.
“As one of Europe’s leading food companies, Dunbia plays an important role as a local employer in boosting the region’s economy as well as generating business back to Wales through its export business.
“The Welsh government will continue to work in partnership with Dunbia and alongside Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) [Meat Promotion Wales] to develop new markets ensuring a sustainable and successful industry for Welsh produce.”
Welsh government provided funding
Jones, who was speaking at the plant opening on Friday (June 7), said the Welsh government had provided £2.71M of the total £12M funding to develop the Llanybydder facility.
“This will ensure the company has the capability and capacity to produce the best quality product for their customers as well as making it one of the most up to date and efficient processing plants in Europe.”
Gwyn Howells, ceo of HCC, said: “Dunbia has shown eagerness to develop its export business and in working with HCC has secured several business contracts in countries including Canada, Dubai, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
“We work closely with companies like Dunbia to market PGI [Protected Geographical Indications] Welsh lamb on the world stage generating business for the Welsh economy; something Dunbia has proved to excel at and we look forward to further developing export business with them.”
Dunbia operates 11 sites in the UK and Ireland, including two in Wales, plus a further five in the rest of the world. It employs 600 people in Wales alone and 3,600 globally.