KERRY GROUP HAS announced that it is to create 800 new jobs over the next three years as well as 400 jobs in the construction industry next year as it builds a new campus in Kildare.
Speaking at this mornings announcement – which had seen Enterprise Ireland competing with both London and Amsterdam - An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that government was ‘most encouraged and delighted by the jobs announcement’.
By 2016 we can realise and demonstrate that we are the best small country in the world in which to do business.
The food company, which supplies consumer foods, food ingredients and flavours internationally, said in a joint announcement with the Department of Jobs today that a global technology and innovation centre is to be set up in Naas, Co Kildare.
The CEO of the Kerry Group, Stan McCarthy, said that the centre would also accommodate business services and support functions, believing that it would be a differentiator in the market.
The centre will be a “key focal point” for the company’s customer engagement activities, catering to Europe, Africa, the Middle-East and beyond.
Welcoming the announcement was Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food Simon Coveney, who said that ‘there’s never been a Cork man that loves Kerry as much as I do this morning.’
This is a phenomenal announcement for Ireland. This is a once in a decade announcement for an economy, but it is probably the most significant announcement ever for the Irish agri-food industry, and that is not an exaggeration.
Kerry Group will invest €100 million in the construction of the centre on a 28-acre site in the Millennium Business Park with the new campus accommodating 800 people in 2015 and rising to 900 in 2016.
It is believed that between 100-150 of these jobs will be graduate positions, with Minister Coveney saying that the last three years had seen a 100 per cent increase in the uptake of food science and related courses.
Around 400 construction jobs will be created next year with the €100 million investment part-funded by the Department of Jobs. The Department of Agriculture has also been involved in supporting the investment.
The centre will provide “strategic customers with access to the Group’s complete breadth and depth of technologies, scientific research, innovation and applications expertise across food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets,” a statement said.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said that the announcement had shown that ‘Ireland had travelled and Kerry had excelled’.
It is part of a difficult transformation that we are now having to make from mistakes that were made throughout the course of the last decade that took us down the wrong path.
While we were making those mistakes Kerry was continuing to consolidate its progress. We now have to follow that journey.
- with reporting from Paul Hyland