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After acquiring a majority shareholding in pork and bacon producer McCarren Meats in 2013, it’s contribution to the Cavan economy has seen an increase of 50%.

Kepak has also revealed that process capabilities and throughput capacities at McCarren Meats have increased by 40% following a €15m investment in the business.

Kepak, best known as a primary processor of beef and lamb, diversified into pork production with the acquisition of a majority shareholding in McCarren Meats. Staff levels at McCarren Meats have since increased by almost 40%, from 194 in 2013 to 269 currently.

Speaking at a media and stakeholder event in Cavan, John Horgan, managing director, Kepak Group, said: “Through that acquisition as well as more recent investments including Greene Farm Fine Foods in Westmeath and UK-based Country Park Foods (CPF) – both of which have pork value-added cooking and processing capabilities – Kepak is heralding a major expansion of its value-added business.

“Kepak has a long-established beef value added heritage and a top tier customer base to match.

“The addition of both McCarren pork and Greene Farm chicken provides Kepak with complementary value-added capabilities in the three main cooked meat proteins to further develop its business with its partner customers.

“These investments will add further value along the supply chain delivering partner customers and consumers alike on-trend convenience products which are the fastest growing category of meat sales,” he said.

Strength to strength

Sean Coffey, CEO, Kepak Meat Division, said: “Since Kepak acquired a majority shareholding of McCarren Meats, we have invested heavily in the business and it has gone from strength to strength.

“We have secured new customer and market accreditations, while staff numbers and payroll investment have increased by almost 40% and 50%, respectively, since 2013 reflecting the increased activity levels in all factory departments.”

“Having the capability to offer our partner customers a full range of cooked meat preparations from sources as vertically integrated as possible is a major advantage given the ever-increasing demand for provenance and integrity in meat supply chains.”

Breakdown of contribution

  • €7m in wages.
  • €25m in livestock purchases (predominantly from pig farmers in the counties adjacent to the border and within a 25km radius of the site).
  • €3m in additional support services.