Fane Valley co-operative acquires duck firm Silver Hill Foods

Micheál Briody (left), chief executive of Silver Hill Farm, with (from left) Trevor Lockhart, chief executive Fane Valley Group, Stuart Steele, managing director Silver Hill Farm; and Sean McGreevy, Fann Valley group finance officer. Photo: Peadar McMahon
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE half billion pound turn-over Moira-headquartered food co-operative Fane Valley Group has acquired premium Irish duck producer and exporter Silver Hill Foods in the Monaghan based.

The move will secure ongoing investment in the development of the existing production site at Emyvale to keep pace with rapidly growing global demand for Silver Hill Foods world class Irish duck, and builds on the two companies' 20-year partnership.

Silver Hill Foods owner Stuart Steele said: “This is a good news story for our employees, for Emyvale and for all our growers, suppliers and customers, especially with Brexit causing uncertainty in this region.

“Fane Valley has been our long-term feed nutrition partner for over two decades, so this was a very natural fit for both companies.”

The management team that have been running Silver Hill successfully will continue to manage the business with new directors joining the board, representing Fane Valley.

Mr Steele added: “Keeping the business in Irish control and based in Emyvale was an intrinsic part of the negotiations and subsequent sale. Silver Hill Foods has attracted the interest of many potential overseas buyers over the years, particularly from the UK, Europe, and even Asia.”

The acquisition builds on the existing relationship between Fane Valley and Silver Hill and reinforces Fane Valley's strategic objective of investing in innovative food companies with a strong growth potential.

Fane Valley Group chief executive Trevor Lockhart said: “We have acquired a highly reputable Irish agri-food business.

“We are committed to future investment in production facilities on the Emyvale site to enable Silver Hill to meet growing demand, particularly in Asian markets including new areas such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. We are excited by the growth prospects and the opportunities this will present for all stakeholders in the business including the dedicated grower base.”

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