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Co Armagh family food firm marks half a century of growth

By Amanada Ferguson

Published 15/07/2015

Avondale’s marketing manager Dawn Cann, co-chairman Harry Geddis, co-chairman Derek Geddis and commercial director Greer Geddis
Avondale’s marketing manager Dawn Cann, co-chairman Harry Geddis, co-chairman Derek Geddis and commercial director Greer Geddis

A Co Armagh food company is celebrating 50 years in business.

Avondale Foods in Lurgan was started by the Geddis brothers in 1965 and has grown to become one of Northern Ireland's biggest agri-food success stories.

From selling vegetables grown on the family farm to markets and shops, the business - started five decades ago by Harry and Derek Geddis - now supplies potato salad and coleslaw to all Marks & Spencer and Waitrose stores across the UK.

Its coleslaw and vegetable accompaniments are also sold at major supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco, under 'own brand' and the company's Country Kitchen name.

The family business, said to reinvest around £20m a year into the Northern Ireland economy, employs more than 380 people, with up to 450 workers in place at peak production times.

Derek Geddis said: "As the pace of life began to change, supermarkets grew in popularity and we made a simple diversification into pre-packed vegetables to make them more convenient to buy.

"As the business grew, we outsourced our produce, using our own experience in horticulture to ensure that growers supplied us with high quality produce."

Belfast Telegraph

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