Gilfresh Primed for More Growth After Investment in New Production Facilities
April 26, 2022
Co. Armagh food company Gilfresh Produce has invested in new facilities and technology that will allow it to increase production to meet rising demand for locally sourced fresh food.
Loughgall-based Gilfresh Produce is a family run company established by the Gilpin Family over 50 years ago.
Gilfresh invested in the expansion of its production facility during Covid-19, initially to allow the processing of fresh food to continue under strict social distancing requirements. Supported by Danske Bank, the additional production and staging space it created is now enabling Gilfresh to streamline its processes and extend its season.
Danske Bank has also provided a significant funding package to enable the company to take advantage of increased demand for local fresh produce, with investment being made in new technology needed to automate additional processes.
William Gilpin, Managing Director of Gilfresh, said: “Our vegetable processing business plays a significant role in the Northern Ireland food chain. Danske Bank assisted Gilfresh with the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic presented and also helped us prepare for the next part of our journey as we endeavour to become even more efficient and environmentally friendly.
“We have a long and much valued relationship with Danske Bank, and are thankful to our relationship manager, Fiona King, who has taken the time to really understand the needs of our business, especially during the last two years. This has been a great asset to our management team.”
Fiona King, Corporate Banking Manager at Danske Bank said: “Gilfresh is an essential indirect supplier of fresh food to Northern Ireland homes and during Covid we wanted to help ensure the security of supply was not compromised. As a result of the investment made during this time, the business has emerged stronger. We’ve worked with Gilfresh for many years and are pleased to have been able to provide a new funding package to help the business on the next stage of its journey.”
Gilfresh Receive Support for Growth
October 15, 2020
Gilfresh Produce is in receipt of a grant for Selective Financial Assistance from Invest NI for a capital project. This project is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.
May 24, 2019
Congratulations to our Fire Warden Team and First Aiders from across the business who have successfully completed their training in March.
New Season Springs forward for Asda & Gilfresh
May 13, 2019
Gilfresh, is planting new season kale, broccoli, savoy and sweetheart cabbage, which are destined for Asda shelves across Northern Ireland from mid-June – almost three weeks earlier than in 2018.
Gilfresh, a family-run company, based in County Armagh, which was established by the Gilpins over 50 years ago, is dedicated to the growing, packing and processing of core and prepared vegetables, and already supplies 25 product lines to Asda including carrots, swedes and scallions.
The team at Gilfresh will cover the seedlings with fleece to keep them warm and encourage growth, so the crop is ready to harvest in early Summer.
“Asda’s ongoing commitment to local producers ensures quality homegrown produce continues to be available in season in stores across Northern Ireland,” explains Danielle Mitchell from Gilfresh.
“On average in local season we supply over 5,000 cabbages, 13,000 heads of broccoli, 2,500 swedes and 17 tonnes of carrots to Asda each week. We have a great working relationship with the team there and we’re delighted to bring new season products to Asda customers earlier this year.
“We know Asda shoppers are fervent supporters of Northern Ireland’s agricultural industry and buying locally sourced produce. They are also sensitive to the environmental challenges growers face on issues such as climate change and food miles, which is an ethos shared by Asda.”
Gary Medforth, IPL Manager – Buying Edible Produce, said, “We have been working with Gilfresh since 2009 and are looking forward to what will hopefully be a successful growing season!”
Billy Clelland, Quality Manager of Asda NI added, “We have excellent working relationships with some of the best growers and suppliers across Northern Ireland – and Gilfresh is a perfect example of this. It’s fantastic to have the promise of great-tasting locally grown produce from Gilfresh on shelves even earlier this year for our customers to enjoy.”
Gilfresh Success at NIFDA 2019
April 1, 2019
We are delighted to announce that we are the Winner of The Deloitte Service Sector Award for our sliced leeks, at the Northern Ireland Food and Drinks Awards 2019.
Our leeks have been specially selected as we grow specific varieties that deliver a consistent ‘candlestick’ finish and colour mix. These are then graded, washed and hand trimmed into thin quarters before being rinsed and chopped at 5mm. We worked closely with our customer, Reynolds Catering Supplies, to ensure high quality and consistency within our leeks, to be further processed into a range of Asian style dishes.
This is a great achievement for the entire Gilfresh Team!
NEBOSH Training Success
March 28, 2019
Congratulations to Sinead Toner our Assistant Operations Manager on achieving a distinction in her NEBOSH certificate in Occupational Health & Safety.
Well done Sinead all the hard work paid off!
HACCP Training Success
February 25, 2019
Congratulations to our staff from across the business who recently completed their level 2 HACCP certificates, delivered by Loughry College.
Kids Getting to Know How to Grow
July 4, 2018
Over 120 children from three local schools in Co.Armagh were able to enjoy a day out at Gilfresh to end their school year. Primary 5 Students from The Cope Primary in Loughgall, Hardy Memorial Primary in Richhill and St Oliver Plunkett’s Primary in Ballyhegan visited us recently.
During their visit the children got to learn about where their vegetables come from and how they are grown. They had the opportunity to walk around a field of carrots and swedes which were planted at the start of the month and also got their hands dirty by planting their own cabbages, broccoli and cauliflowers.
William Gilpin, owner of Gilfresh, said, “This summer we have planted a wide range of vegetables in a field opposite our factory to help educate children on how vegetables are grown. Nothing brings learning about food, farming and the countryside to life for children more than seeing it for themselves. It was a great few days for all involved and we look forward to the children returning in September to harvest the vegetables that they have planted.”
New Season Scallions ‘Spring’ Onto Shelves
June 11, 2018
Over 300,000 bunches of scallions are set to spring off shelves in Asda stores this summer.
The scallions – spring onions or salad onions as they are sometimes known – are grown for Gilfresh by Armagh grower Paddy Finn, owner of Kilmore Farm Produce.
Danielle Mitchell from Gilfresh said,
“We enjoy a great relationship with Asda, supplying them with a range of fresh produce including our new season scallions. Our grower Paddy has been in the field checking the crop for the last few weeks, waiting for the optimum time to harvest – and the results have been fantastic.”
Billy Clelland, Quality Manager of Asda NI added,
“At Asda we’re proud to work with some of the best growers and suppliers from across the agri-food industry, filling our shelves over the summer, and indeed all year round, with the finest in locally sourced produce – something we know is very important to our shoppers.
“By partnering with Gilfresh and its growers, we are able to bring these great tasting, quality scallions to our customers for them to enjoy in season – fresh from the field to our stores!”
Asda new season scallions are in stores across Northern Ireland now.
Michigan State University Visit
May 19, 2017
Today we hosted agricultural and horticultural students from Michigan State University who are visiting Northern Ireland on an exchange with CAFRE Loughry College. They visited our packhouse to see how vegetables are handled and also received a tour of our Anaerobic Digester