Irish Growers Buy Chip Processing Plant

Published online: Apr 15, 2004
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A group of growers bought Ireland's only frozen chip processing plant for EU 2.5 million.

Glenfarm holdings Ltd., which last fall announced it would close the money-losing plant, said it had reached an agreement to sell its subsidiary. It had said the decision to close was made because the business was no longer sustainable.

The group formed to buy the plant is made up of 60 growers from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

"Taking over Ballymoney Foods is a significant milestone in the future of potato production in both north and south Ireland," said growers group joint chairman John Sheridan.

"The new venture puts the future in our own control and we fully intend to maximize the potential of the business."

The new owners said negotiations on new grower contracts will commence shortly and they intend to increase the plant turnover to EU15 million in three years.

Sheridan said the growers believe they can turn the plant around by cutting out the middleman.

"In the south we have good connections with all the major retailers and we fully intend to capitalize on this," he said. "All aspects of marketing will be pursued and all potential customers contacted to ensure success of the venture."