Buchanans new nut factory generates £1million GB success

Philip Johnston (right), director of operation at Buchanans, with John Hood, director of food and drink at Invest NI

MORE than a dozen jobs have been created at Carrickfergus nut-making company WG Buchanan and Son Ltd following an investment of £1million to develop a new standalone 12,000 sq ft factory at Invest NI's Trooperslane business park.

And the payback has been immediate, with Buchanan landing a fresh contract worth more than £1 million with a major UK buying group for the supply of dried fruit and nuts.

The company - which imports, packs and distributes rice, cereals, pulses, nuts and bakery ingredients, along with its renowned soup mix - has been offered £213,000 by Invest NI towards the build project and the upgrading of machinery and equipment to streamline its production process and increase efficiencies.

The 13 jobs being created, which are a mix of sales, administration, production, processing and management roles, will contribute £225,000 in additional salaries to area.

Philip Johnston, director of operations at Buchanans, said: “Although our nut products were already packed using dedicated machinery and strict allergen controls within our existing site, we are always conscious of the concern over nut allergies, especially peanuts.

“To remove potential cross contamination, we took the decision to invest in a new completely separate processing and warehousing plant, to provide even greater assurance to our consumers.

“The substantial investment from Invest NI has already enabled us to grow sales in Great Britain, starting with a significant contract win, made possible by the increased capability our new factory has to offer. It will also provide additional capacity to grow our business in the Republic of Ireland, which is currently our biggest market outside the UK.”

John Hood, director of food and drink at Invest NI, said: “We've worked closely for many years with Buchanans, a well-established company, renowned for its quality, service, price and brand name.

“This latest support has helped it to develop a new standalone nut factory, complete with state-of-the-art processing and packing facilities, which has already led to substantial success in external markets.”

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