11th JULY 2019 - Page 49



FARMWEEK
MAY 31 2018
BUSINESS
Gin fanatics can visit home of
Shortcross Gin in Co Down P50
Dromore firm
UPU Industries
extends reach
U
PU Industries, the Dromore-based
crop packaging specialist, has
expanded its global reach after
securing a range of new international
contracts.
UPU manufactures crop wrapping, binding
and protection products for the agricultural
and industrial sectors and is best known
for its market-leading “Farmer’s” branded
range. The sales growth, which has
increased the company’s total exports by
20 per cent, is a direct outcome of UPU’s
investment in its production facilities,
international marketing and its local sales
team.
The company now exports to over 30
international markets including South
America, where UPU has seen its business
increase three-fold in Uruguay and Chile
over the past nine months.
In addition to its manufacturing plant in
Dromore, UPU has a production facility in
Kansas, USA. In response to a substantial
increase in demand for its product range
in the North American market alone, staff
from UPU Dromore regularly travel out to
Kansas to support the local team.
Much of the success of the growth
strategy has stemmed from UPU’s
investment in new product development
and particularly the response to its
‘Reflectornet’ pallet netting, a breathable
alternative to traditional plastic wrapping
used to package and transport pallets of
fresh or perishable goods.
UPU’s appointment of specialist sales
staff, including those fluent in Spanish
and French, has also helped the company
develop relationships with its international
customer base and grow its market share in
Spain, France, Belgium and Canada.
Gary Millar, UPU’s International Sales
Director, said: “The past 18 months has
been a period of rapid development for the
company and this has seen us extend our
reach into new markets as well as building
our business in areas where we were
already well established.
“We also invested heavily in our overseas
marketing and have exhibited at some
of the most high profile international
agricultural shows and trade events, such
as Agritechnica in Germany and the Canada
Outdoor Farm Show in Ontario.
“Backed up with the expertise of
our multi-lingual sales force, we have
strengthened our global presence, built
our contact base and engaged directly with
wholesalers, distributors and the wider
farming community.”
VISIT: US customer David Liefer, second
left, from Synthetic Resources, Kansas,
is pictured during a recent visit to UPU
headquarters in Dromore, with Phillip
Orr, Gary McDonald and Harry Orr from
UPU.
49
Interview: Hendersons Group
initiative backs smart ideas P51
Five Sammies for Around
Noon in just two years
A
ROUND
Noon,
the
Newryheadquartered food-to-go manufacturer, has picked up two national
awards in London for new product
development.
The fast-growing company, which now
employs over 300 people, won two awards in
the Sammies 2018 – the British Sandwich and
Food-to-Go Association Awards.
The company won New Sandwich of the
Year category, defeating competition from
supermarket retailers including Waitrose and
The Co-Op.
It collected the category award for New
Sandwich of the Year – Hot and the overall
New Sandwich of the Year award 2018. These
add to the three Sammies that Around Noon
won in 2017, including successfully retaining
the Overall New Sandwich of the Year award
for 2018.
The New Sandwich of the Year award is for
a new pre-packed sandwich which has been
successfully launched in a retail or catering
environment.
The winning product, Around Noon’s
Breakfast Toast, includes black pudding,
mushrooms, spring onions, goats’ cheese,
cheddar, bacon and spicy house ketchup on
sourdough toast.
Gareth Chambers, CEO of Around Noon, said:
“We want to position Around Noon as the UK
and Ireland’s leading food-to-go manufacturer
and to lead the way in innovation and new
product development in the industry.
“We’re delighted to have one of our new
products, the Breakfast Toast sandwich,
recognised at The Sammies. This is just one
of several new products we have brought to
market in the past year with more exciting
developments in the pipeline.
“The past year has been a very strong one
for Around Noon, winning five Sammies, being
named in the Sunday Times Fast-track 100 and
Around Noon chief executive Gareth Chambers, right, and executive chef David Graham
celebrate the company’s latest successes.
acquiring a London-based business.
“We’re focused on growing our customerbase and manufacturing output across the
UK and Ireland and are continuing to add
new significant companies and brands to our
existing customer-base.
“National awards like The Sammies are an
important part of communicating to new and
prospective customers the level of innovation
and quality we want Around Noon to be
synonymous with,” he added.
In April, Around Noon’s CEO Gareth
Chambers won the Young Business Person
of the Year award at the Belfast Telegraph
Business Awards, in partnership with Ulster
Bank.
The 33-year-old was also recently announced
as one of five NI-based entrepreneurs
shortlisted for the 2018 EY Entrepreneur of the
Year Ireland awards, now in their 21st year.
Widely considered the Oscars of the
sandwich and food to go industry in the UK,
The Sammies 2018 – organised by the British
Sandwich and Food to Go Association – were
held in the Nine Kings Suite, Royal Lancaster
London Hotel on Thursday, May 10.
Cheese is Northern Ireland’s best new product
ARMAGH farm-based cheese
producer Ballylisk has won a
major award at one of the UK’s
biggest farm and food shows.
Ballylisk won the Best Product
award for its unique triple cream
brie style cheese produced
exclusively from the Armagh
family farm’s own award-winning
dairy herd.
The cheese, just recently
launched by brothers Dean
and Mark Wright from their
single dairy and grass-fed herd,
regarded as among the best
on the island of Ireland, and
processed by them, is now going
on sale in delis in Northern
Ireland and was launched
successfully at the iconic
Borough Market in London.
Ballylisk won the product
accolade from Food NI, Northern
Ireland’s food and drink
promotion body, at Balmoral
Show, one of the biggest agrifood showcases in the UK and
Republic of Ireland. The annual
show, now in its 150th year,
featured thousands of products
from over 100 producers, mostly
artisans and smaller businesses.
Dean Wright, commenting on
the success, says: “We were
delighted to
have won the
prestigious
award for
our new
triple cream
cheese during
our first
participation
with Food NI
in the hugely
impressive
Food Pavilion at
the Royal Ulster
Agricultural
Society’s Balmoral Show. We’ve
taken time in developing the
cheese and preparing for other
products.
“What’s unique about our
soft cheese is that we have
total control over all aspects
of production. This means
it has total provenance and
transparency. Our aim now is to
ramp up marketing, particularly
in Great Britain, and we’ve
already had approaches from
top chefs and major retailers
there,” he adds.
Runner up in the Best New
Product category was a
new Belfast style ginger ale
developed by Longbridge Drinks
in Bangor, County Down. The
small company, which
has experience in
producing craft
minerals, has
revived the
ginger ale first
developed in Belfast in 1825 by a
local chemist.
Wayne Adair, of Longbridge
Drinks, says: “We’ve been
immensely encouraged by the
response to our new ginger ale,
especially from lovers of local
craft gins. This award will help
enormously as we seek to build
sales in Northern Ireland and
further afield.
Highly commended was Morelli
Ice Cream with Irish Black
Butter, a new flavour developed
by the ice cream producer, which
is based at Coleraine in County
Derry, and Irish Black Butter, a
unique sweet/savoury spread
created by Portrush, County
Antrim, businessman Alastair
Bell last November.
Best trade display was won by
Broughgammon Farm from
Ballycastle, County Antrim, for its
successful marketing of cabrito
and veal products, especially
through its street food stand at
LEFT: Dean Wright. the show.

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