Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen has officially opened Fane Valley’s new head office and logistics centre near Moira.
The Glenavy Road premises are situated on a dedicated four-acre site and provide 15,000 sq/ft of modern office facilities and 50,000 sq/ft of high specification warehousing.
The opening of the new facility marks the beginning of a fresh chapter for Fane Valley, which has been headquartered on the Alexander Road in Armagh for the past 68 years.
The change of location reflects Fane Valley’s ambitions to extend the geographic reach of its agri-business beyond its traditional catchment area. The new premises are also specially equipped to support the efficient production and dispatch of its range of livestock identification products and to service its growing online trading platform, which is expected to deliver significant service and productivity improvements in the years ahead.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister McIlveen said: “I commend Fane Valley for its investment in this impressive new central warehouse and logistics centre which will help expand its agricultural retail business. While I appreciate this is only one arm of Fane Valley’s many strands of business, the provision of agricultural supplies is an essential service to the farming industry across Northern Ireland.
“From its formation well over 100 years ago, it is tremendous to see the growth of the co-operative which has kept its farming roots with local farmers retaining ownership. It is also encouraging to see a leading organisation in our agriculture industry making a substantial investment in their business at a time when the economic environment is facing many unknowns and challenges.
“I wish Fane Valley every success with its new premises and I congratulate them in their efforts to strengthen and consolidate their market presence.”
The Minister later hailed the opening of Fane Valley’s new premises as an endorsement of the potential opportunities ahead for the local agriculture industry.
“As Northern Ireland moves towards a post-Brexit marketplace amid ongoing global trade negotiations, let us not focus on the possibility of new barriers to trade but instead let’s work together to create new resilient business opportunities to ensure a bright future for our agriculture sector,” she added.
Speaking at the official opening, William McConnell, Fane Valley chairman said: “It is our pleasure to welcome Minister McIlveen and guests to Moira to take part in the official head office and logistics centre opening. We are delighted with the new premises and very much look forward to realising the benefits it will bring to the Group. The investment will strengthen our ability to grow the business and extend our trading area. It is an important strategic development for the Group that we are able to provide a headquarters and distribution operation that is reflective of our scale and aspirations for the future.
“I would additionally like to express my appreciation to all head office and Fane Valley Stores staff for their willingness to make the transition to Moira. We appreciate their dedication and shared vision and commitment to the business.”
Formed in 1903, Fane Valley is a 100 per cent farmer owned co-operative operating across Europe. It has more than 2,100 employees.