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Finnebrogue invests £25m at new factory creating 300 jobs
Finnebrogue Artisan, a Northern Irish food producer, has announced plans to enter the plant-based food market in January 2021, after investing £25m in a new manufacturing facility and creating 300 new jobs at its base in County Down.
The new plant – measuring more than 200,000 sq ft – will be Finnebrogue’s fourth new factory in five years and brings the firm’s overall investment during that period to £80m. The investment will take Finnebrogue’s head count to 1,200 by the end of 2021.
Finnebrogue managing director, Andrew Nethercott, said: “This new facility will enable us to provide our consumers with the more nutritious and sustainable food they are demanding. It is just the latest chapter in a journey that started with us turning over just £3 million and employing 30 people ten years ago. By 2023, our turnover will have reached in excess of £220 million and we will be employing more than 1,200 people in our beautiful rural corner of Northern Ireland.”
Finnebrogue’s Naked brand is the biggest brand of bacon in Britain having launched three years ago. According to market research agency Kantar, the British bacon industry lost £1m every week in 2019, amidst a barrage of health warnings related to nitrite-cured processed meats.
Naked bucked that trend to make £25m in retail sales. It remains the only mass-produced bacon to be made without nitrites, the curing chemicals used in most other bacon and hams that have been linked to colorectal cancer by the World Health Organisation.
George Eustice, secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, added: “Finnebrogue is a great example of what our brilliant food industry has to offer. The UK produces some of the finest food in the world – and our food heroes have done an incredible job of keeping the nation fed during these last few challenging months.
“I am very pleased that Finnebrogue’s brand new investment will provide a valuable boost to local employment opportunities in Northern Ireland, advancing the company’s ambition to create and promote fantastic and affordable UK food.”