£200k investment boosts mushroom firm’s growth
A mushroom company in Co Armagh has announced an investment of over £200,000 as it sets its sights on export markets.
O’Neill Mushrooms in Newtownhamilton produces around 80,000 fresh mushrooms every week but now wants its new facility to develop added-value products for export.
The firm’s operations in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan and Newtownhamilton produce nearly 30,000 lbs of mushrooms every week for retail, catering and wholesale in the UK and Ireland.
Invest NI is contributing £32,000 towards O’Neills’ investment. Chief executive Alastair Hamilton said: “This investment is an immensely important development in a rural community and will focus on the manufacture of added-value products for retailers outside Northern Ireland.
“The new facility has been developed in response to strong growth in the demand for O’Neill Mushrooms’ quality and innovative products, particularly from Great Britain, where the retail market is currently worth around £350m.
“The decision to locate this business in Newtownhamilton is another significant endorsement of Northern Ireland as an ideal location for food processing businesses dedicated to building export sales. The investment has already created 60 new jobs in recent months with a further 10 expected by 2013.”
Michael O’Neill, who founded the company eight years ago, said: “Newtownhamilton was an obvious choice of location for us. There is a strong heritage of mushroom growing and processing in the area, a readily available and experienced workforce, and a ready-made plant previously operated by Monaghan Mushrooms. These factors enabled us to ‘hit the ground running’ and to start supplying customers quickly.