Ingredients of a successful partnership

Date published: 27 March 2018

Foyle Food Group is one of the main abattoirs and meat butchery operations in the North West of the province and has been in operation for over three decades employing some 1,200 staff at its six locations nationwide.

Sarah Boyle, Group Technical Compliance Manager, Dessie Brady, Food Technologist Loughry.

Foyle Food Group has the capacity to process more than 300,000 cattle per year and have traditionally been involved in slaughtering and boning of meat.

Since 2017, the company has recognised an opportunity to diversify its markets and invested approximately £6million to build the state of the art Foyle Ingredients operation in Omagh to specialise in the production of value-added meat products.

Having worked closely with CAFRE over the past 10 years, Foyle enlisted the help of CAFRE’s Food Technology Development Branch to explore and generate a range of exciting new value-added meat products.

Using the well-equipped facilities at Loughry’s Food Innovation and Food Technology Centres, Dessie Brady CAFRE Food Technologist, provided technical knowledge and assistance within a team from Foyle Food Group that included Sarah Boyle, Group Technical Compliance Manager.

Many new and innovative product ideas were generated and tested through the kitchen and pilot plant scale facilities, with consumer feedback assessed through the Sensory Analysis Suite. Dessie continued to provide essential technical support to the Foyle Food Group Team as the successful products were moved in to full scale production within the new Foyle Ingredients facility.

The Foyle Ingredients operation is now well established having recently secured several significant contracts to supply both the food service and retail sectors, and employing an additional 200 staff. As a result of the working partnership between Foyle Food Group and CAFRE, the company have facilitated a number of very informative visits and student placements, enabling students to experience their modern processing facilities at first hand.

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