A €48m investment has been announced by C&D Foods in its manufacturing facility in Co Longford, increasing the site’s capacity by 25%.

C&D Foods is the pet food division of ABP Food Group.

The investment in the Edgeworthstown-based plant, supported by Enterprise Ireland, will create 100 new jobs in engineering, operations, supply chain and quality assurance.

Approximately 100 further jobs will be created during the construction phase, which is under way.

Smaller pets

The extension to the existing building will be for automated multi-packing and pouch-filling lines.

This is in line with a trend towards single-serve meals for smaller companion pets, said managing director of C&D Foods Colm Dore.

“We are seeing a trend across Europe where consumers are favouring pouched pet food for smaller companion animals and we are in [a] prime position to continue to capitalise on the growing demand for these types of products.

“This investment will enable the company to maintain its position at the forefront of the pet food market, while also leading to the creation of new high-skilled jobs and positive economic development in our local community,” said Dore.

Irish food sector

Chief executive officer of Enterprise Ireland Leo Clancy said the investment reflects well on the whole Irish food sector.

“This large investment into the new showcase plant in Edgeworthstown reflects highly on the entire Irish food sector - pooling together innovation with best-in-class facilities to drive sustainable practices.

“We look forward to working closely with C&D Foods to optimise their full international growth potential, creating and sustaining jobs here in Longford,” he said.

C&D Foods employs 500 staff in Ireland and a further 1,400 across Europe.