A new food development centre was built as part of the plant, which housed a creative kitchen, sensory panelling room and a pilot plant to test new product development.
Finnebrogue’s chairman Denis Lynn said the plant would help workers avoid “mundane tasks”. That would allow the firm to “invest heavily in people in roles that truly make a difference”.
Lynn also said the factory would be a more desirable place to work, incorporating staff relaxation areas such as a roof garden café.
The new £25M processing facility was officially opened last Friday (June 3) in Downpatrick, NI after three years of development.
NI first minister Arlene Foster praised the firm’s commitment to quality and innovation. “Finnebrogue is a real success story for Northern Ireland,” said Foster at the official opening.
‘Real success story’
“I commend Dennis Lynn for his tireless work to build this successful business and I look forward to seeing what the next chapter has in store for this highly-regarded company.
“This new £25M state-of-the-art facility will give Finnebrogue additional capacity to build upon its success in terms of new product development and sales outside of Northern Ireland.”
Ulster Bank also praised Finnebrogue’s success. Head of corporate and property banking Kenton Hilman said: “Finnebrogue Artisan is a strong example of Northern Ireland’s pioneering development in the field of agri-food.
‘Fastest growing businesses’
“Their devotion to quality and innovation has provided them with considerable success as one of NI’s fastest growing businesses.”
Operating from its Downpatrick site since 2002, Finnebrogue produces a range of venison and sausage products which are available in supermarkets nationwide, including Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Asda.
The manufacturer worked with Holfeld Plastics in July last year to introduce new packaging to give an artisan presentational style to its grand sausages.
Meanwhile, family Scottish butchery business We hae Meat created six new jobs as part of its new range expansion deal with retailer Co-op Food.