A UK-based ethnic food producer, Deko Foods Ltd, is to open a base in Co. Meath, creating 20 jobs.
Deko Foods Ltd is a specialist white-label manufacturer of Afro-Caribbean and South-American foods and in order to meet international demand, they will establish a processing plant in Kells Business Park.
The company, which will focus on manufacturing dry, non-perishable food items at the Kells base before expanding, hopes to hire 20 employees in the coming three years.
Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English, said: "I am delighted that Deko Foods has decided to establish a base in Kells. This adds to a growing number of companies who have chosen Meath to set up their business.
"This announcement is another Connect Ireland project that is being supported by the enterprise agencies and is a great example of how local communities can work to win valuable new jobs for Ireland and, in particular, regional areas throughout Ireland."
Recruitment is already underway for a number of junior positions, including full and part-time warehousing staff and administration.
Yomi Aiyegbusi, Founder and CEO of Deko Foods, said: "We chose Kells, due to its close proximity to both Dublin’s seaport and airport, and also because we found a suitable premises there, ideal for our type of operation. Another incentive was the level of government support and funding provided to new businesses choosing to locate in the Kells area; it’s exceptionally higher than other regions.
"I was also introduced to several other food producers and packagers in the area, all of whom assured me that Kells and its neighbouring towns could provide the necessary resources my business requires, like the right staff. I currently need to recruit an office manager, receptionist, warehouse clerk, forklift operator and four production staff.
"Ireland is perfect for us as it has a rich agricultural heritage and because of its proximity to the UK, where we have an established consumer base. Aside from its English speaking, highly literate population and its attractive tax system, another attraction was the many incentives Ireland provides to new and foreign businesses, especially those that are export-driven or invest heavily in R&D.
"As most of our revenue is generated from export sales and we invest heavily in R&D and NPD, these were significant deciding factors for us. But the ultimate deciding factor was not only Ireland’s hospitable and relaxed nature but also because Ireland is a progressive EU nation that encourages entrepreneurship and is slowly becoming a cosmopolitan hub for not only European but world business. We wished to be part of that progress."