Sugar company Finlay's Food is sweet on further growth
Co Down company Finlay's Food - Ireland's only maker of sugar sprinkles - is extending its factory in a £70,000 investment.
The third generation family-run firm, which is based outside Moira and employs nearly 50 people, has submitted a planning application to add an extension on to its premises on Maghaberry Road.
Finlay's Food supplies products like pie fillings and vermicelli sprinkles for food manufacturing and catering.
As a result of the proposed extension, the company hopes to increase the factory's jam production from 3,000kg a day to 4,000kg daily.
Finlay's Food was founded in 1969 by James Finlay and over the last four decades has become a major supplier of pie filling, jelly, jam and vermicelli - or sugar - sprinkles.
James's son Stewart - its current managing director - said: "By remaining a family-managed business we are able to respond quickly to customer demands.
"Our ability to adapt to our customers' needs has helped our business grow. "A lot of them will come to us asking if we can make a specific product."
The company first started as a processing plant for fresh Bramley apples which were then sold on to food manufacturers for apple pies.
The firm moved into the confectionery market almost 16 years ago and now is one of the largest manufacturers in Europe.
Each year, the company produces between 400 and 500 tonnes of the sweet sugar sprinkles topping in a variety of sizes, colours and flavours to fit individual customers' specification.
While the home market accounts for most of Finlay's Food's business, the company also exports to Belgium, France, Holland, Hong Kong, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.