Dobson brothers finally sever ties with meat giant Dunbia

TOGETHER DAYS: Jack (left) and Jim Dobson from Dunbia pictured with then-agriculture minister Michelle O'Neill. The Dobsons have both now severed links with the business they created in 1976
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE two brothers who spawned a £1 billion European-wide red meat processing business from a modest butcher's shop in Dungannon have severed their links with the company after nearly half a century.

Jack and Jim Dobson co-founded Dunbia in 1976, growing it into one of Northern Ireland's largest private companies, exporting to 36 countries.

In 2017 the business came into the joint ownership of Dawn Meats, when Jack left.

And now Jim Dobson has retired too, leaving Dawn Meats to take full control of the business.

It will continue to trade under the Dunbia brand and the same management team, offering customers regionally sourced solutions for both beef and lamb from 12 processing facilities across Britain and Northern Ireland.

Niall Browne, chief executive of Dawn Meats said: “Combining our operations in the UK has been a strategic success based on a strong cultural fit between two family owned businesses that shared a deep connection to farming and an ethos centered on quality and sustainability.

“Jim Dobson is a legend within our industry and we are proud to maintain the traditions and name he created as we continue to serve our UK customers and farmer suppliers.”

Jim said: “The creation of the joint venture with Dawn Meats ensured the business would continue to grow as a leading quality meat supplier in the UK market.

“I want to thank all the team that has worked on the integration and feel confident they are well-placed to build on all our past achievements together.”

Dawn Meat's combined businesses in the UK and Ireland now process approximately one million cattle and three million sheep annually, employing over 7,000 staff, and working with over 30,000 farmer suppliers.

The 2017 deal between Dawn Meats and Dunbia also saw Dawn acquire Dunbia's operations in the Republic, resulting in a total of 10 Dawn Meats facilities.

In 2016, the Dobson brothers were accorded a double Lifetime Achievement gong at the annual Business Eye Awards in Belfast.

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