Dunbia and Dawn Meats have entered into a joint venture that will see the two organisations combine their UK operations.  This was revealed by both the meat processors on May 24.

According to a joint statement issued by the two firms, the new business will trade as Dunbia. However, the deal is still subject to approval. They said the partnership is meant to increase their market presence. In addition, it would improve service to customers not just in manufacturing, but also in retail, wholesale plus foodservice.

In the new joint venture deal, Dawn Meats will acquire Dunbia’s two complimentary facilities in the Ireland Republic: an abattoir and a boning hall located in Slane and Kilbeggan respectively.

Dunbia’s current CEO Jim Dobson will become the CEO of the new business, and Dawn Meats’ CEO Niall Browne the executive chairman.

‘Strategic partnership’

Dobson was quoted saying: “This is the right strategic partnership for Dunbia’s staff and customers, and sees us joining with a company with a shared heritage of excellence in the production of premium beef and lamb products.

He concluded: “The new UK joint venture confirms our future as a leading supplier in the UK market. In a consolidating industry, this deal makes strategic sense for companies, our customers and our farmer suppliers.”

According to the two firms, the deal will offer customers locally sourced beef and lamb from 15 facilities throughout the UK.  Dawn Meats said that this will cement their place in the market as well in spite of the Brexit.

Thrilled about the future and prospects

Browne was reported saying: “We are both family businesses with a deep connection to farming, and a culture and business ethos that is centered on quality and sustainability. Given the uncertainty posed by Brexit, this partnership should further underpin the competiveness of both operations to the benefit of all stakeholders in the UK, Ireland and across Europe.

He added: “We are very excited about the future of both companies, and the opportunities that this transaction will bring for our staff, customers and suppliers.”

The new business, which will be based in Dunbia’s current headquarters located in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, will process about 2.6 million sheep and 900,000 cattle a year.

Dawn Meats is a premium red meat processor and presently exports meat to 48 countries. The processor also holds shares to the tune of 49% in Elivia, a French beef processing firm that processes around 500,000 cattle a year.

Dunbia has about 4,000 workers at the moment and exports processed beef and lamb to 36 countries.

In the meantime, FoodManufacture.co.uk quoted an industry expert in March saying that the contract between the two meat processors was “quite likely.”