Belfast Telegraph

Food exporter to more than double in staff

By Clare Weir

Almost 20 new jobs are being created thanks to the expansion of a Co Tyrone food company.

Triple Eight Proteins in Ballygawley, which exports pork and poultry products, is a subsidiary of Food-Bridge Ltd, a Cork meat exporting company with an established international network.

Investment from the parent company will create 18 new jobs, including three at management level, over the next three years.

The company, which only set up in Ballygawley last year, currently employs 12 people and is already targeting developing markets such as Hong Kong, West Africa, South Africa and Eastern Europe.

Flor McCarthy, Triple Eight's managing director, said the decision to test the market potential of its products has proved an outstanding success, and it is now selling 100% of output beyond the UK and Ireland.

"As a direct result of this success in a relatively short space of time, we've now decided to expand the business both in terms of capacity and export capability," he said.

"The investment programme we are now implementing involves a significant expansion of our manufacturing and other operations. I am confident that we can grow sales quickly and profitably in Asia, West Africa, South Africa and Eastern Europe.

"Our overall objective is to triple exports by 2014 through an expansion of sales in existing markets and marketing initiatives to develop business in other regions."

During a visit to the company, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster added: "The investment by the Republic of Ireland parent company is a significant development for the local pork and especially poultry processing sector, now one of our most successful export sectors.

"In addition, through this investment Triple Eight will offer further employment opportunities, including management posts in important functions such as export marketing, in a predominantly rural community."