Moy Park, a Northern Ireland-based poultry and food company, is planning a GBP170 million (US$291 million) expansion that will provide 628 new jobs across three sites. The Moy Park expansion, impacting the company's locations in Dungannon, Craigavon and Ballymena, was announced July 7 by Northern Ireland Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster and Moy Park CEO Janet McCollum.

The investment by Moy Park, part of the Marfrig Group, will include additional processing lines and the establishment of an innovation center, which will drive new product development, as well as a financial services office - a new role for the Craigavon site. The new jobs, 100 of which are already in place, include roles in management, supervisory, processing and financial shared services.

“This investment, which will mean a GBP10.5 million (US$18 million) increase in wages and salaries annually for the local economy, is a huge boost of confidence in Northern Ireland as a European food production and manufacturing center of excellence by a world-leading company,” said Foster. “The expansion will further enhance Moy Park’s contribution to the local economy by enabling the business to achieve a substantial growth in sales, mostly to customers outside Northern Ireland, by 2018.” 

Foster added: “We have been able to demonstrate to international investors like Marfrig that we will work with them to ensure Northern Ireland is the right European location to successfully grow their business.”

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Invest Northern Ireland is providing financial assistance of GBP9.5 million (US$16.3 million) towards the expansion.

Marfrig Global Foods CEO, Sergio Rial said: “We are committed to growing our operations in Northern Ireland and this investment, with support from Invest Northern Ireland, helps us to achieve that. We have had ongoing, positive engagement with the Northern Ireland Executive and have experienced a very pro-business attitude.”

Speaking on what this investment will mean for Moy Park, McCollum said: “Moy Park started as a small farming company in 1943 and has grown into a top UK business with a GBP1.5 billion (US$2.6 billion) turnover. We continue to have big ambitions and this investment will allow us to further grow our operations and create new jobs in Northern Ireland.”