Belfast Telegraph

Co Down food firm puts crisis firmly behind it with opening of new £700k production facility

By Emma Deighan

One year on from food company Willowbrook Foods' worst crisis in half a century, it is celebrating the opening of a new £700,000 production facility that will double its output.

Back in January 2017, John McCann MBE, the founder and managing director of Willowbrook, suffered losses as his lettuce supply was hit by extreme weather in southern Spain.

The company, which has around 220 staff, was only able to supply 70% of its usual quota to retail outlets.

But today it's a different story for the prepared vegetable and bagged salad firm.

Its new production facility in Newtownards will see it increase output from 120 tonnes to 250 tonnes of cooked, mash and prepared vegetable products.

It also sees all production of this line of products relocated from Killinchy to the new facility as well as staff, while the recruitment of new employees is imminent.

Willowbrook's managing director, John McCann, said: "A year ago, Willowbrook Foods was feeling the impact of the extreme weather conditions in continental Europe.

"We worked closely alongside growers to help mitigate the situation and thankfully returned to 100% supply quickly.

"And 12 months later, we are extremely pleased to be in a positive position, having focused on the quality of our product offering, securing valuable new business across the UK and Ireland and opening a state of the art new production facility."

Belfast Telegraph

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