MOIRA firm Hannan Meats is to supply beef to top London store Fortnum and Mason.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster announced the new business alliance, which will begin in January, during a visit to the business.
She said: “This is a marvellous endorsement of one of our most quality conscious meat companies, and indeed of Northern Ireland food, by a prestigious London retailer with a global reputation for excellence.
“Hannan Meats is benefiting from ongoing investment, including the provision of a Himalayan Salt Chamber for ageing meat to bring out exceptional flavours and rich texture for customers.
“This impressive commitment to market-focused innovation was recognised in the recent UK Great Taste Awards when the company gained the Supreme Champion Award for its unique Italian-style Moyallon Guanciale and a further 26 gold stars for its products - an all-time UK record.”
The Minister added: “Invest Northern Ireland is providing marketing support and advice to the company on expanding its business outside Northern Ireland. Its work with Hannan Meats is an excellent example of the support we are providing to the food and drink industry in terms of new product development, employee training and export marketing.
“The outstanding achievements of Hannan Meats, now also recognised so significantly by Fortnum and Mason, demonstrates how local food companies and their suppliers can grow by investing in the development of premium products for high profile customers outside Northern Ireland.”
Hannan Meats is also this year’s reigning UK Great Taste Supreme Champion. During the visit, Arlene Foster was briefed about the business by Peter Hannan, the company’s founder and Managing Director.
He said: “We are delighted to have secured this tremendously encouraging business from Fortnum and Mason in London. The Fortnum and Mason team has been extremely supportive in discussions resulting in this business association.
“While we will start supplying premium quality meat aged in our unique Himalayan salt chamber in January, we launched our alliance with Fortnum and Mason this week by purchasing some exceptional beef from Northern Ireland farmers at Allam’s traditional Christmas Show in Belfast which will be used in the London store.
“It’s also immensely important for our farm suppliers who provide consistently high quality Glenarm Shorthorn and European Angus cattle as part of an arrangement which ensures them good returns for animals.”
Simon Burdess, Trading Director of Fortnum and Mason, said: “We have had an amazing year in 2012. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics have been a great cause for celebration.
“As we look forward to marking the anniversary of Her Majesty’s coronation we want to make sure we start 2013 off in style. Serving this handsome beef with help from Hannan Meats and their amazing ageing process in our restaurants will certainly be a fine way to begin our celebrations.”
Hannan Meats employs around 30 people at its processing plant at Moira.