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Food firm announces £500k investment to develop products

A Tyrone food firm is investing over £500,000 to develop products for export.

En Place was established by chef Paul Clarke and Peter Hannan, managing director of Hannan Meats in Moira, known for its Moyallon branded meat products.

The investment will provide eight new jobs over the next two years at En Place, which is based at the Loughry campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).

Invest NI has offered the company £46,800 towards the start-up costs, including marketing.

Mr Clarke said that the retail sector will initially generate 20% of turnover and the firm will focus on a relaunch of the Moyallon brand, particularly for the high- end stores and hampers. "The initial product range will include fresh oils, infused and flavoured oils, pestos and tapenades, reductions and essences, chutneys and relishes and oriental pastes and dressings," he said.

"Market opportunities for the products we are developing are significant. Irish speciality foods have a predicted growth rate of 65% over the next 10 years with sales via the internet and delicatessen or speciality stores forecast to have the highest growth rates. Research shows that the UK speciality food market has experienced above average growth over recent years, with the market valued at over £3bn."