A Fermanagh company has announced a multi-million pound investment which will create eight new jobs.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has welcomed the jobs boost following a visit to Erne Eggs in Lisnaskea, which is investing £3m in conjunction with two food companies from the Republic of Ireland.
Ready Egg Products is a joint venture between Erne Eggs, Irish Egg Products of Kilcoole, Co Wicklow and Greenfield Foods, Smithborough, Co Monaghan.
The company employs 46 people and has plans to recruit a further eight by the end of this year.
It started operations in a modern processing plant in Lisnaskea last year and sources shell eggs from its own dedicated flock that produces more than two million eggs per week. The plant has a manufacturing capacity of 200 tonnes per week and currently produces peeled, hard-boiled and liquid eggs.
Ready Egg Products aims to achieve a substantial growth in sales outside Northern Ireland over the next 12 months.
Arlene Foster said: “This investment is another important boost for food processing in Northern Ireland, which is our largest manufacturing industry. Ready Eggs is now the fourth biggest producer of egg products in the UK and the Republic.
“It consolidates Fermanagh’s position as a significant and very cost-effective centre of quality and innovation-led food production in Northern Ireland.”
Invest Northern Ireland provided Ready Eggs with £84,140 towards the investment.
Charles Crawford, managing director of Ready Eggs said: “Ready Eggs pulls together the experience, expertise and market knowledge of three established and successful companies in egg production and creates a critical mass for accelerated growth in Britain and the Republic in terms of existing products and to develop new ideas for these markets.
“At the heart of this investment is experience of the egg business stretching over 30 years.
“It creates an operation focussed on the supply of quality egg products with a strong commitment to research and development (R&D) for customers in the food and foodservice industries throughout the British Isles.”