Food manufacturer Finnebrogue Artisan has invested £17m in its state-of-the-art nitrite-free bacon facility.
Finnebrogue is an artisan food manufacturer based in Downpatrick in Northern Ireland.
In a major investment backed by Invest NI, the company is now able to establish a new manufacturing facility in the region for the production of its nitrite-free bacon, hailed by many experts as a breakthrough in the food processing sector.
The £17m investment will also create up to 125 new jobs in the region, which will be created by 2022, with 30 already in place.
Finnebrogue produces Naked Bacon, a nitrite-free bacon that the company started producing last year. It is now widely available in leading supermarkets across the UK and Ireland.
The company’s chair, Denis Lynn, said: “It has been known for decades that nitrites used in curing meat can cause cancer. That’s why, despite being the UK’s leading top-tier sausage maker, we refused to make a single rasher of bacon until we could figure out a way to make it better and safer.” The company is anticipating that sales of Naked Bacon will add £23m to its turnover by 2022.
‘Agrifood is a priority sector’
Speaking about the latest investment, Invest NI’s Brian Dolaghan said that Northern Ireland’s reputation as a region that produces innovative, quality food has been enhanced by the innovation and development of nitrite-free bacon by Finnebrogue.
“The product has been welcomed by top food scientists as a significant advancement in food safety and has already found a market among health-conscious consumers,” he said.
“Agrifood is one of our priority sectors and it is great to see the new facility operational and producing this cutting-edge product. Our support is ensuring Finnebrogue is able to capitalise on its innovation and realise growth. The local economy will also benefit from this fantastic food innovation as the 125 new jobs will deliver over £3m to the economy each year in salaries.”
Finnebrogue also produces and sells The Good Little Company’s range of healthy sausages and recently opened a vegetarian factory producing innovative, meat-free meal options. It is one of the fastest-growing food manufacturers in the UK with its turnover increasing from £5m to more than £90m per year over the last 10 years.