An Taoiseach Enda Kenny officially opens €14.5 million beef processing facility in Waterford

on 28 June, 2012

Pictured: Karl Fritz McDonald's Europe, Jose Armario McDonald's Corporation, Niall Browne Dawn Meats, Adrian Crean McDonalds Restaurants of Ireland, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Facility built to service €300 million contract to process Irish beef for McDonald’s

Dawn Meats officially opened its new purpose built, state of the art, beef processing facility in Carroll’s Cross, Co Waterford on Monday 25th June. Dawn Meats invested €14.5 million in the facility, which was also supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland.  The company announced last month that it had been awarded a €300 million contract to process up to 18,000 tonnes of Irish beef annually for McDonald’s, which led to the commissioning of the new facility. The beef processing facility will produce up to three million hamburgers per day, which will be exported abroad to McDonald’s markets throughout Europe.  The 40,000 square foot facility, which includes the very latest energy efficient technology and the longest freezer line of its kind in Europe, was officially opened for production today by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. International executives from McDonald’s were also present including José Armario, Executive Vice President of World Wide Supply Chain and Karl Fritz, Chief Supply Chain Officer, McDonald’s Europe.  Speaking at the announcement today, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: ‘As Ireland continues on the path to recovery and growth, it is essential that we play to our economic strengths. The success of Irish agri-food companies such as Dawn Meats and their ability to develop and grow relationships with leading global companies such as McDonald’s is extremely important as it helps to create jobs at home through Irish food exports. These investments are a huge vote of confidence in Dawn Meats and also in Ireland as a location to do business. The Government will continue to build on Ireland's strong reputation as a source of natural, high quality food, drink and ingredients. Today is a good day for Dawn Meats, for McDonald’s and also for Waterford and the south-east, with the creation of 65 new jobs at this state of the art facility.’

Niall Browne, Chief Executive of Dawn Meats said that today’s opening was a hugely important step in a period of development for the company: ‘Today’s opening marks the beginning of an exciting new phase of development in our relationship with McDonald’s. We are now seeing the vertical integration of the beef supply chain, with supply, slaughter and processing now all taking place in Ireland, leading to increased value add and enabling our company to create and sustain Irish jobs.  I would like to thank all the team at Dawn Meats for their commitment as well as our farmer suppliers who produce sustainable, quality assured, welfare friendly beef. In addition, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny for his support here today, a great boost for our team and an endorsement of the work we do. Of course these words of thanks would not be complete without acknowledging the vote of confidence that McDonald’s have given to the Dawn Meats team and our suppliers and we in turn will continue to deliver the highest standards that our customer requires’.

Adrian Crean, Managing Director of McDonald’s Ireland said: ‘McDonald’s is very happy to source Irish beef which is highly regarded internationally as a quality, grass-fed product. Dawn Meats had to demonstrate quality, reliability and the ability to meet McDonald’s high standards to win this contract. We are very pleased to see this state of the art facility opening today and we look forward to working with Dawn Meats and the 18,000 Bord Bia Quality Assured Irish farmers who supply them, over the coming years’.

Welcoming the announcement Frank Ryan, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: ‘Enterprise Ireland is delighted to support Dawn Meat’s expansion programme which reflects Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for the growth and development of the beef processing industry.  This project is of great strategic importance for the company, the sector and Ireland’s position in the global food industry.  It is helping to put Ireland firmly on the international map as a leading innovator and supplier of higher-value added food products.  We look forward to continuing to work with and support Dawn Meats’.

65 new jobs have been created by the investment in the new beef processing facility, as well as over 100 construction jobs which were created during the construction phase. The new jobs mean that Dawn Meats now employs over 1,400 people in Ireland.  McDonald’s is the single largest purchaser of Irish beef by volume, purchasing approximately 40,000 tonnes of Irish beef annually and it expects to grow this further in the years ahead. The company exported €110 million worth of Irish beef in 2011, up from €80 million in 2008. 18,000 Quality Assured Irish farmers supply beef into the McDonald’s system. Currently, approximately 20% of all beef used in McDonald’s Europe is of Irish origin meaning one in every five hamburgers purchased in McDonald’s restaurants across Europe is made of Irish beef. 

On the Official Plant Tour, Ray Farrelly & Adrain Crean McDonalds's Restaurants of Ireland, Karl Fritz McDonald's Europe, Jose Armario McDonald's Corporation, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Peter Roche & Niall Browne Dawn Meats

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking to the media at Dawn Meats on Monday 25th

Niall Browne, Chief Executive Dawn Meats addressing the invited guests at Monday's opening.

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