Kerry Group to create 900 jobs
Global food company Kerry Group is to create 900 jobs at a new facility in Co Kildare.
In a 100 million euro investment the firm will build a technology and innovation centre near Naas.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny attended the announcement in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.
"The decision by Kerry Group, with the support of the Irish Government, to establish this ground breaking facility in Ireland will bolster our strong reputation as a globally renowned country for food production and innovation," he said.
Kerry Group plans to employ 800 new workers in 2015 and a further 100 when the site is fully commissioned by mid-2016. It is understood that half the jobs will be in the research and development division of the firm.
Some 400 jobs will also be created during the construction phase which is expected to begin early next year once planning is complete.
Headquartered in Tralee, Kerry Group employs more than 24,000 people in its manufacturing, sales, technology and application centres across Europe, North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
The Taoiseach added: "This facility will act as an international magnet for our country. It also sends out across the world a message of confidence for the future of Ireland. By 2016, we can realise and demonstrate that we are the best small country in the world to do business."
Simon Coveney, Agriculture Minister, said: "Today is a phenomenal announcement and is perhaps the most significant investment ever in the Irish agri-food industry. Not only is this an announcement of 800 high end jobs, but it is the proof that the agri-food sector can be central to rebuilding the Irish economy."
Kerry Group has annual sales of more than 5 billion euro.