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Errigal Seafood records 55pc sales growth in three years

Errigal Seafood records 55pc sales growth in three years

Errigal Seafood records 55pc sales growth in three years

Despite the recession, rising costs of production, bad weather and increased competition, Errigal Seafood in Co Donegal has managed to grow sales by 13.6pc in 2011 and by 55pc over the past three years.

Errigal is the largest Irish seafood processor and exporter of shellfish products, with an export turnover of €26m a year.

It employs up to 200 people at peak times in its 15,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility in the South West Donegal Gaeltacht.

Errigal Seafood’s exporting strategy is to develop close links with multiples and to align its business to meet the demands of modern retailing.

It achieves this through its emphasis on category management, rationalised supply chains and the provision of a suite of high quality, convenient seafood products which are sourced fresh daily from long-established suppliers in the North Atlantic.

“We export 100pc of our products to overseas markets – Europe and Asia in particular – though we have exported to Canada and North America in the past. France would be our biggest market, followed by Korea, then Spain, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Scandinavia and the Baltics” says Aodh O’Donnell, managing director of Errigal Seafood.

“The company has introduced in-country sales teams and developed our general overseas sales capacity significantly over the past three years. We now have offices and staff [and in some countries our own storage facilities] in France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and the UK.

“Obviously, BRIC countries are of interest to us and with that in mind, we’ve been developing our sales presence, particularly in China. We recently appointed a Chinese representative to work with a dedicated sales manager and we’ve added Chinese to our multilingual website, which we launched in the past couple of years.”

Founded by a pioneering priest

Errigal Seafood was founded as a vegetable processing factory in 1962 by pioneering priest Fr McDyer to combat the widespread unemployment in South West Donegal at the time.

O’Donnell attributes the company’s success since then to four things: “The seafood we are able to access from the North Atlantic; the unique processing techniques developed over five decades that afford customers a significant extension to shelf life and the hard working and skilled people behind the company – some of whom are the second generation to work in Errigal Seafood.

“The final ingredient is the support from customers across the globe. We now have more than 300 customers in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Belgium, Sweden, Japan and Korea.”