The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D. has welcomed the decision by the Kerry Group to establish in Ireland its flagship global technology and innovation centre in Ireland with their investment of €100m.
"Today is a phenomenal announcement and is perhaps the most significant investment ever in the Irish Agri Food industry.
Not only is this an announcement of high end jobs, but it is proof that the agri-food sector can be central to rebuilding the Irish economy.
"Kerry Group are Ireland’s largest Agri-food and food innovation company. They employ 24,000 people around the world.
This investment announced today is a statement of confidence in the Irish economy and in the quality of Irish food science graduates to deliver food innovation in the most modern facility of its type on the planet.
The agri-food and food innovation sector will continue to provide positivity and optimism in the Irish economy.
"The leadership that Kerry have shown with this project is testament to their commitment to this country."
Kerry is now the largest player in the ingredients and flavours market, with 150 manufacturing facilities world-wide and with sales to 140 countries.
"I visited the giant Kerry food innovation and development centre in Beloit, north of Chicago earlier this year and it was very clear to me then that the establishment of such an operation in Ireland would be a perfect fit for Ireland and where we are heading with the agri-food sector."
Growth of the food industry as envisioned in Food Harvest 2020, the blue print for the smart and sustainable growth of the Agri food sector will be based on the development of new and innovative products in rapidly changing markets.
The decision of the Kerry Group, which already has a world class reputation for industry focused research solutions and the creation of new product categories, sends out a hugely positive message about Ireland’s food research capacity and capability and will, I hope, attract further investment interest.
"I am particularly pleased that the level of urgency and ambition in the company's research plans, which will this year provide recruitment potential and offer career opportunities in Ireland for top class food researchers , who will be able to develop close to market research solutions, in food and food ingredients on a scale and a spectrum which were previously not available in Ireland at company level.
"The success of our food sector is linked to tackling challenges cohesively and with determination. Excellence, determination and a capacity to innovate and lead in food research feature in this.
Today's announcement enables us to plan with more certainty for the next phase of sustainable export led and job-delivering growth."
The Minister acknowledged the role of Enterprise Ireland, the Department of the Taoiseach, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation as well as his own Department in securing this project for Ireland.
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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