Investment in the plant in Timahoe, Co Kildare will bring total employment there to 310 within the next two years. And a further 150 temporary construction jobs will be created as development on the new plant gets underway.
News of the expansion was greeted by many, including Ireland’s food body, Bord Bia, which took to Twitter to describe the investment as “great news for the sector”.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, praised the investment. “The food and drink industry has been a driving force in our economic recovery since 2009,” he explained. “I am delighted to welcome continued growth in this important sector with family businesses like O’Brien Fine Foods contributing to the growth of this, our most valuable indigenous industry, with their own ambitious expansion plans.”
The €14m investment will involve an 8,000 sq m expansion of an existing building used by the company. It will allow the Irish ham producer to “double capacity, improve efficiency and positively impact sustainability,” according to O’Brien Fine Foods managing director John O’Brien.
Part of the investment is also to enable to the company, which operates primarily in pork, to diversify its portfolio of meat products.
“We are currently 97% pork and 3% beef. We would like to expand on beef processing and grow into chicken and turkey,” added O’Brien.