Henderson's win £3m contract to supply food to Irish jails
A Northern Ireland firm has landed a £3m two-year contract to supply food to the Irish Prison Service.
Henderson Foodservice of Mallusk is now supplying dry goods including the Country Range brand to all 14 prison sites throughout the Republic through weekly deliveries.
The company has been expanding into the southern market for some time and the Prison Service contract represents its biggest deal to date.
Henderson Foodservice has seen sales growth of 33% in the last two years and staff numbers have increased by 20% to more than 250.
The company supplies and delivers to more than 4,000 customers across Ireland including hotels, schools, restaurants, fast food outlets, hospitals, nursing homes, cafes, sandwich bars and retail convenience stores. Products range from ambient, chilled, frozen, non-food, bakery and fresh produce ranges.
Damien Barrett, managing director of Henderson Foodservice, said the deal would help strengthen the company's position in the Republic.
"We were well-placed to win this contract as we have extensive experience in winning and managing similar business in the Northern Ireland market," he said.
"We have recently made significant investment in our fleet and now have 50 lorries transporting deliveries across Ireland six days a week. We have also invested in a new warehouse management system to ensure customer service is even more efficient.
"Also, as we have the exclusive right to sell and distribute the Country Range brand across Ireland we have access to additional resources and more competitive prices that allow us to compete more keenly in a largely cost driven sector."
Parent company Henderson Group last week announced a 3.6% rise in turnover to nearly £643m.
The family-run group, based in Newtownabbey, employs more than 2,400 people and owns the Spar, Eurospar, Vivo and Vivoxtra franchises in Northern Ireland.