Innovation is what drives the ongoing success of Northern Ireland’s largest company, an audience of food sector influencers heard at the Balmoral Show’s flagship event on Thursday.
Speaking at the Ulster Bank lunch in the show’s main marquee, Moy Park chief executive Janet McCollum said that continually finding new and better ways of doing things, supported by investment and driven by great people, is at the heart of the company’s longevity.
And Ms McCollum emphasises that Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry as a whole truly punches above its weight in this area.
She points to Moy Park’s partnership with Belfast-based Devenish Nutrition, to create the UK’s first Omega 3 enriched chicken, as one such example. A project that was 10-years in the making, the Moy Park chief says that it is a true health innovation.
The Ulster Bank lunch at Balmoral Show is now in its ninth year and has welcomed speakers including Dunbia Group Chief Executive Jim Dobson, Hilton Food Group Plc Chief Executive Robert Watson, and Owen Brennan, Chief Executive of Devenish Nutrition.
Ulster Bank’s Head of Northern Ireland, Richard Donnan, commented: “The food and drink sector continues to be a key driver of the Northern Ireland economy and the leadership of people like Janet and other members of our audience today is absolutely central to that. Ulster Bank is strongly committed to continuing to support innovation throughout the food chain and our principal sponsorship of the Balmoral Show helps us communicate that and our involvement in the sector as a whole.”
Ms McCollum continues: “To be innovative, we must always challenge conventional thinking. Attracting new talent with fresh ideas, and developing our own people, is one of the ways we do this at Moy Park. We need the best and brightest to look at careers in the food industry and to understand the breadth of roles that exist – from chefs and nutritionists to marketers, technologists, researchers and engineers.
“As we look to the future, no doubt there will be challenges ahead. Although there will be changes to the environment in which we operate, we are confident that we have a robust business that can continue to innovate, thrive and grow,” she adds.
Ulster Bank is the principal sponsor of the Balmoral Show. It has been involved in the Show for many years, and became the first ever principal sponsor in 2009. Further information about Ulster Bank is available at www.ulsterbank.co.uk