The conclusion was made in a report by Oxford Economics and KPMG on the upgraded facilities at ABP Cahir.
The site includes an extension and upgrade of the company’s current food processing facilities as well as the introduction of a gel bone production plant at its neighbouring by-products site.
The development has created 152 jobs meaning the company is now one of the biggest employers in the region with 615 staff. It also supports a further 1,334 jobs in the wider economy.
Clive Black analyst at Shore Capital said that Ireland has been “through the mill” with the horsemeat scandal and any material investment is “good news”.
'Advanced production processes'
“The meat sector needs advanced production processes that comply with current and future legislation in terms of not just food safety but animal welfare and environmental protections,” he said.
However, he issued a note of caution.
“It depends on what they are going to produce and how efficiently they are going to produce it as to whether it is going to deliver a good return on investment for ABP,” he said.
“If it does raise the bar for Irish meat production it clearly will procure a lot of product from the local economy that will employ people and it will have ancillary suppliers.
But as a headline investment let's see where it is in five years in terms of ROI.”
Sign of confidence
The redevelopment was officially launched on 23 July by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD who said the opening was a sign of confidence in the agri-food industry.
Minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation, Richard Bruton TD, also at the launch, said the food sector is a “key part” of the government plans to accelerate employment growth in the country.
Paul Finnerty, CEO ABP Food Group, said: “The economic benefits, particularly during construction, have been delivered during a difficult period for the local labour market, while the economic impact of everyday activity will also add significant benefit to the local and rural economy.
“Today is also about innovating for the future with the opening of our new gel bone production plant. This is the first of its kind in Ireland and the UK and will provide added value opportunities for bovine bones in the pharmaceutical and beauty industries.”
ABP has been located in Cahir since 1973 and has invested over €100m in its facilities while employment has grown from 43 employees.