Sweet deal is in the can as desserts firm adds 31 jobs

Family-owned desserts-maker Davison Canners is set to create at least 30 more jobs after investing £6 million in a new manufacturing facility outside Portadown.

And the move is also set to double its turnover by 2027 (its sales in the year to last April rose from £15.9m to £20.5m as the company more than doubled its pre-tax profit to £2.2m).

The investment in the new highly automated facility has enabled Davison to secure new business producing ready-to-eat desserts such as individual cheesecakes, premium trifles and new innovative high-protein desserts for retail customers in Britain and Ireland.

The Davison family grew and harvested its first crop of Irish Bramley apples four decades ago and, with more than 120 acres of orchards and factory facilities, it is now among the UKs leading producers of speciality fruit, fruit compotes, jams and bakery fillings.

Managing director Alan Davison said: “Our commitment to producing best-in-class desserts and to nurturing relationships with our core customers has rewarded us with sustained growth.

“We are continually reviewing our business model, developing new innovative products and always looking for ways to expand into new areas in response to customer demands. We’re excited to take this next step in our strategic growth and to develop a new range of desserts that opens up significant new opportunities for us.”

Davison Canners
Davison's begun its business more than 40 years ago after growing its own Bramley apples in Armagh

Invest NI chief executive Kieran Donoghue. on a visit to Davison Canners, said: “This state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will drive up productivity by improving efficiencies, reducing the company’s carbon footprint and ultimately supporting its ambition to be more competitive and well-placed to secure new deals with multiple retailers.

“The 31 new jobs that will be created here will deliver additional benefits for our economy, with almost £900,000 in salaries annually.”

He added: “For 15 years Invest NI has worked with Davison Canners to support its sustained and profitable growth. This has included providing support for the new equipment it needed when it began production of its ‘Simply Puddings’ range, which enabled the company to increase productivity and improve its efficiencies.

“We have also provided marketing development support that helped secure additional external sales, which are essential for lifting the Northern Ireland economy to the next level.”

The company - whose secretary is 81-year-old family member Hazel Davison - currently has 128 staff on its books.