Almost five decades ago, Bert Allen and his brothers established a new meat plant in Clohamon on the banks of the river Slaney in County Wexford. The company has grown in the intervening period to become one of Ireland’s leading beef processors.
Slaney Foods International has become a byword for quality and is synonymous today with the highest standards in beef, as well as being one of the area’s most important employers. Today, together with Irish Country Meats in nearby Camolin, the Slaney Foods Group employs over 600 people in County Wexford. Wexford’s prime location in the “sunny southeast” and its high-quality land make it an ideal location for such an agri-food business. In the last 10 years, the company has invested over €15 million in its facilities. Local companies were employed in building and other projects, which upgraded the facilities to provide a plant, which is among the most modern in Europe. The growth of the business has considerably enhanced indirect jobs support in the region, more than equaling in that from the direct employment provided in Slaney Foods and Irish Country Meats.
Slaney Foods products can today be found on the shelves of leading multiples and food service companies in Ireland, the UK, Europe and worldwide. So it is no surprise that the company has entered into a jont venture with the ABP Food Group, one of Europe’s leading agri business companies. The move will benefit both parties and improve the range of products in existing and new export markets and will help them grow and further develop their businesses in a very competitive international environment. Slaney Foods’ commitment to supporting the local economy is also in keeping with the ABP Food Group which has in its progressive strategy invested over €100 million across its operations in Ireland over the past 3 years.
Slaney Foods, having grown into one of Ireland’s leading beef processors, prides itself on its reputation for sourcing and producing the highest quality Irish beef. CEO Rory Fanning says, “County Wexford and the surrounding counties are among the most fertile and productive on the island of Ireland” while, allied with this, there is a “solid infrastructure” of family farms with a ready supply of sheep and cattle. There are 3,000 family farms in County Wexford and the greater surrounding region supplying farm assured quality livestock to the business. Irish beef has for many years enjoyed an international reputation for excellence. Traditional farming skills coupled with nutritious high-quality grass and an unspoiled environment, provide the optimum conditions for quality beef production resulting in a product of delicious and distinct flavour. Slaney Foods combines best-quality Irish beef with ultra-modern processing facilities to offer a product range of superb quality, prepared precisely to the customer’s specification. Selected from the best Irish farms, our beef is traditionally matured and carefully prepared using the skills and craftsmanship of master butchers to ensure optimum tenderness and product presentation.”
Speaking about his native Wexford and conducting international business from the county Rory says “we feel that we are knitted into the community.” Rory points to the excellent location, people, road infrastructure and easy access to Dublin and Rosslare as key benefits for any business in Wexford, while newcomers “will get tremendous support and encouragement from the local authority, Chamber and other support agencies. Future employees will have the attraction of living in a very pleasant environment with good facilities for them and their families.”
Ireland is the largest net exporter of dairy, beef and lamb in Europe; has the fifth most innovative agri-food sector in Europe and is joint first for food safety systems. Wexford has established a solid reputation in the sector, with agri-food businesses supporting thousands of jobs in the rural economy, both directly in food & drink processing and also in the wider agri-industry. The value of agricultural exports arising from the agricultural output in County Wexford is €501.2m.
Wexford County Council has a dedicated team dealing with start-ups along with existing and expanding businesses that are considering investing in Wexford. The team offers supports and advice around property solutions including ready-to-go office developments; build-and-design options plus services to assist in streamlining planning applications, which have the potential to create jobs in the county. The service is available to all businesses; if you would like to discuss an expansion of your business or moving your business to Wexford, please feel free to get in touch. For further details see www.investwexford.ie