Export deal for sterile beef knife to Australia
Co Down firm Airtech Distribution has cut a slice from the export market in its first deal with an Australian company.
Airtech - which was established in Dundonald in 2007 - developed the world's first twin knife steriliser in 2013, and since then it has been used in meat processing plants throughout Britain and Northern Ireland.
Their sterilisers are used from Foyle Food Group's Omagh location to ABP in York and Langport, among others.
The system - known as the Econoliser - will now be shipped to Monbeef, one of Australia's main exporters of beef products, in Airtech's first order from outside the UK.
The Econoliser has been designed to sterilise knives used in abattoirs, slaughter halls and meat plants using the minimum amount of heated water necessary.
This could result in massive savings in both water consumption and the cost of energy.
Airtech manufacturing manager Wesley Irvine told the Belfast Telegraph the firm was hopeful the deal could lead to more in Australia.
"Monbeef are very happy with the first units supplied, so we are optimistic that they will soon fit out the rest of their facility with our sterilisers," he said.
"Word-of-mouth is invaluable to the sales of the Econolisers so we hope to get further enquiries from Australia when Monbeef's neighbouring abattoirs start to hear about the sterilisers."
The value of the deal was not disclosed.
But Airtech said that the deal with Monbeef, along with some upcoming orders, could lead to expansion.
Monbeef, which is located in Canberra, supplies beef products to the Australian market as well as exporting to 26 other countries around the world.
Airtech has also been offered support from Invest NI for marketing the technology.
Olive Hill, director of innovation and technology solutions at Invest NI, said: "Winning a first export contract is a significant development for this small but ambitious business."