Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Food group takes an £8m bite out of exports

Dr Bill McGinnis (second left), Northern Ireland adviser on Employment and Skills, pictured with (left), Michael Morrissey, managing director, Crossgar Foodservice, Ciara McGreevy, HR manager, and Terry Casement, financial director, Crossgar Foodservice

Crossgar Foodservice said it has managed to win £8m worth of new export business over the last two years.

The figure was revealed by Dr Bill McGinnis, the Northern Ireland Adviser on Employment and Skills, on a visit to the Seaforde-based company. He attributed the success to the firm's investment in improving its skills base.

"Crossgar Foodservice has invested in skills to support a business growth strategy that is targeted primarily on opportunities it has identified for its products and expertise in the Republic of Ireland," he said.

"This progressive and ambitious company recognised that strengthening the skills, knowledge and expertise of employees, at all levels, would enhance its ability to compete successfully and profitably in the Republic of Ireland, its initial target market outside Northern Ireland."

The company employs over 230 people and currently secures over 40% of its business from public and private sector clients in the Republic, the most recent a £5m contract to supply products to the prison service sourced largely from the group's Irish businesses which include Crossgar Meats, Crossgar Poultry and Crossgar Foodservice.

As a whole, the group has sales of around €50m a year.

"We recognised that success depended upon our ability to develop really competitive tenders," Michael Morrissey, the Crossgar Foodservice managing director, said.

"This recognition led us to take part in a procurement training programme which included expert guidance on preparing tender documentation."

Crossgar Foodservice has also won a string of awards under its "Provenance Collection", which includes Glouchester Old Spot Pork, Dorset Lamb and Great Taste Award winning products such as Dexter Beef and Lissara Farm Free Range Corn Fed Chicken and Duck.

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