Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen this week officially opened Fane Valley’s new head office and logistics centre located at Glenavy Road, Moira.
The premises are situated on a dedicated four acre site and provide 15,000sq.ft of modern office facilities and 50,000sq.ft of high specification warehousing.
The facility marks the beginning of a fresh chapter for Fane Valley which has been headquartered on the Alexander Road in Armagh for the past 68 years.
The change of location reflects Fane Valley’s ambitions to extend the geographic reach of its agri-business beyond its traditional catchment area. The new premises are also specially equipped to support the efficient production and dispatch of its range of livestock identification products and to service its growing on-line trading platform. This is expected to deliver significant service and productivity improvements in the years ahead.
Speaking at the official opening, Miss McIlveen underlined the need for Northern Ireland’s farming industry to remain positive in times of economic uncertainty and to exploit the changing domestic and global marketplaces. She said: “The future of our agriculture industry is hugely important to me and I am determined that Northern Ireland develops a globally competitive agri-food industry for future generations.
“Fane Valley was formed more than 100 years ago and I am delighted to see the continuing growth of the co-operative which has kept it’s farming roots with local farmers retaining ownership. This impressive new centre aims to expand its agricultural retail business and I congratulate Fane Valley for its efforts to not only consolidate and grow its market presence, but for its leadership in making a substantial investment in its business in what are challenging economic times.”
Miss McIlveen also urged the industry to avail of the help available through the second tier of the Farm Business Investment Scheme (FBIS) which will provide support for on-farm projects in excess of 30,000. She added: “I want to see a strong, profitable farming sector which is well prepared and equipped to not only meet the economic challenges ahead, but to exploit new market opportunities that will see Northern Ireland remain a world leader in agriculture.
“Through Tier 2 of the FBIS Capital Scheme I aim to focus on the development of future-proofed, fit for purpose, modern infrastructure and equipment on our farms. I’d urge farmers and growers to take advantage of the opportunities available through the scheme.
“As Northern Ireland moves towards a post-Brexit marketplace amid ongoing global trade negotiations, let us not focus on the possibility of new barriers to trade but instead let’s work together to create new resilient business opportunities to ensure a bright future for our agriculture sector.”
Speaking at the official opening William McConnell – Fane Valley, Chairman remarked: “It is our pleasure to welcome Minister McIlveen and guests to Moira to take part in the official head office and logistics centre opening. We are delighted with the new premises and very much look forward to realising the benefits it will bring to the Group. The investment will strengthen our ability to grow the business and extend our trading area. It is an important strategic development for the Group that we are able to provide a headquarters and distribution operation that is reflective of our scale and aspirations for the future.
“I would additionally like to express my appreciation to all head office and Fane Valley Stores staff for their willingness to make the transition to Moira. We appreciate their dedication and shared vision and commitment to the business,” concluded Mr McConnell.