NORTHERN IRELAND - Moy Park’s grower expansion programme in Northern Ireland, which was launched at the end of last year, has seen phenomenal interest from farmers with over 250 new poultry houses planned for completion by the end of 2015.
A total of 90 houses are either built or nearing completion with a number already having their first flocks through. Gareth Murray from Aghalee, Co Armagh was one of the first growers to take part in the programme. He built two new poultry houses earlier this year which he operates alongside an existing fertiliser business and small livestock holding.
Mr Murray said: "I started to consider poultry farming a few years ago as a way to diversify the business. I spoke to a few growers and when I heard that Moy Park was looking to expand production here, I got in touch. There are lots of things to consider - from finance to planning - but Moy Park was there to answer any questions and help along the way.
"Moving into poultry production was a steep learning curve in the beginning but it’s all gone very well and I would recommend it to other local farmers who are looking to the future."
Top 10 UK food company, Moy Park embarked on the broiler expansion programme as part of the business’s plans to grow its fresh, locally farmed chicken supply for its UK and Ireland customers. These plans include a recently announced £170m investment in the business and the creation of 628 jobs in Northern Ireland.
Alan Gibson, Moy Park director said: "This expansion is in response to what we believe is a long term demand from both retailers and consumers for fresh, locally sourced poultry.
"We currently work with 800 of the very best poultry farmers and we are pleased with the response we’ve had to our call for growers in Northern Ireland to expand poultry production.’’
He added: "We currently have over 250 new poultry houses in the programme but we are still looking for growers in proximity to our two main primary processing sites in Ballymena, Co Antrim and Dungannon, Co Tyrone who want to expand or move into poultry production."
The growth opportunity is open to both existing poultry growers and suitable new farmers in Northern Ireland. Moy Park is inviting those interested to come forward to find out how they could qualify for the programme to build new broiler and breeder houses and become part of one of Europe’s most successful poultry businesses.ThePoultrySite News Desk