Business

Armagh firm Cross Refrigeration seals £7m Australian export deal

Invest NI chief executive, Kevin Holland (left) with Andrew Nesbitt, managing director of Cross Refrigeration
Ryan McAleer

ARMAGH firm Cross Refrigeration has announced a £7 million export deal in Australia.

The contract, the company’s first in the country, will see it supply 60 banana and avocado ripening rooms for supermarket chain Coles and the construction firm Qanstruct Pty Ltd.

The refrigeration firm, which operates from Hamiltonsbawn Road industrial estate, is part of the Cross Group of companies, which originated in Cork.

Andrew Nesbitt, managing director of Cross Refrigeration said although distant, the Australian market offers major opportunities for the business.

He said the company had been assisted by support from Invest NI over the past six years, including £200,000 of research and development (R&D) support to develop the ripening facility.

“Over the last six years, Invest NI’s support and expert advice helped us to develop our ripening facility, bring it to market and secure this deal with Coles Supermarkets.

“We have visited the market multiple times to build a relationship with numerous contacts and with Invest NI support have hired two staff to oversee the management of our exports in the market. Looking ahead, we now have an established footprint in the Australian market and we are optimistic we will see further growth.”

Invest NI boss Kevin Holland said the Armagh business is at the forefront of novel technology for global banana ripening.

“Exports from Northern Ireland to Australia increased by over 110 per cent and are currently valued at £249million1. This demonstrates the many valuable business opportunities which are available for ambitious Northern Ireland companies.”

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