By Siobhan Cronin
THE Folláin jam factory in Ballyvourney has announced expansion plans, which will double the workforce.
The company is to open a new, energy-efficient facility in Ballyvourney in August, which will see an increase in staff from 20 to 40 employees over the next five years.
The total investment is worth in excess of €2m and the expansion will allow the company to grow its capacity by 100%, add a more specialised production line, and also branch into new unique product offerings.
Folláin has been producing fresh fruit marmalades, jams, relishes and chutneys with 100% natural ingredients since 1983.
The family-run business was founded by Máirín O Lionaird, who works with her husband Peadar at the plant.
‘We are absolutely thrilled to be able to expand our business,’ said Máirín. ‘Our new facility will have two production lines, as opposed to the one we currently operate. This will enable us to produce premium food products, made with natural ingredients at a larger scale and also enable us to bring new innovative specialist products to the market.’
The O Lionairds plan to create a food ‘destination’ at the factory – so people can visit, avail of a new coffee shop on-site, and view the production process in an interactive way.
‘Folláin has always been an important part of the community in Ballyvourney and the new facility has been designed in such a way that it’s both sustainable and in keeping with its natural environment,’ said Máirín.
‘We will also move to a more sustainable manufacturing process, using gas as our energy source and installing heat exchangers to allow us to recover energy. This will ensure our footprint on the environment is lessened as we respect our natural surroundings in the spectacular Ballyvourney area,’ she added.
Our ability to be able to expand is a direct result of the environment in which we operate. Ireland has become a world class leader in terms of its quality of food and as a result, it has allowed companies like ours to thrive. Consumers want and expect more from their products, they expect to know the origin and source. We welcome more transparency, and encourage all Irish consumers to ask for nothing but the best Irish produced food,’ she concluded.
Folláin products are available from Tesco, SuperValu, Dunnes Stores, and independent outlets and fine food shops nationwide.