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Minister Smith Applauds Success of Irish Food Company

- Westmeath Company to recruit additional staff due to expansion of its export business -

Speaking today at a visit to Mr Crumb, a small food company manufacturing premium bread stuffings and speciality foods in Finea, Co Westmeath, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD praised the initiative consistently shown by the company since its foundation in 1996.

"Mr Crumb identified an opportunity in a category which was in decline and succeeded in growing the business year on year to a point where the company has now a state of the art factory with 47 employees and has ambitious plans to recruit an additional 20 staff in the next few months."

The Minister added that increased food and drink exports in 2010 demonstrated the sector's importance to net export earnings and to Irish manufacturing industry. "The positive performance of a range of food companies including Mr Crumb which work closely with the development agencies will feed into realising the ambitious targets set in the Food Harvest 2020 Report".

Food Harvest 2020 sets out the vision and ambition for Ireland's food industry, the country's largest and most important indigenous industry. "This is an agreed strategy for food by all the key players and agencies" the Minister went on to say "It is a policy framed by smart, green approaches to achieving growth targets and in this regard it is impressive that Mr Crumb has planted 22 acres of forestry with Sitka Spruce and Oak trees near the plant in Finea as a contribution to offsetting its carbon footprint".

The Minister noted that the recent move of Mr Crumb into the French market with the launch of a range of premium handmade canapés with one of France's leading retail chains was leading directly to a significant increase in employment. "For a company from a tiny village like Finea to be supplying canapés to the French market is a considerable achievement of which we should be proud. With its focus on export expansion, Mr. Crumb is precisely the type of indigenous Irish food company which is now driving the export led recovery of our economy" the Minister concluded.

Note for editors:

Mr. Crumb is the trading name of the company Quality Irish Foods Ltd.

Date Released: 07 January 2011