A Northern Ireland mushroom producer that was established this year has invested more than £1.5 million in a new high-tech processing and packing facility.
Armagh-based Button Farm Mushrooms secured £200,000 in funding from the Growth Loan Fund, run by investment group WhiteRock Capital, as part of this investment.
The company, run by brothers Jonathan and David McKew, said it will also create four new jobs alongside the packhouse expansion and six new growing rooms.
Formed earlier this year, the business currently employs 14 people, and is planning to expand from producing mushroom compost to mushroom growing, processing and marketing. It supplies 98 per cent of its produce to Tesco via G’s Fresh, with future plans to sell into smaller retailers as well as other multiples.
“We have noticed a real shift in the UK and Irish mushroom industry, with a growing demand for high quality produce,” said Jonathan McKew.
“As a result of this we are now keen to expand the business and have invested over £1.5m to construct six mushroom growing rooms and a modern, high tech, mushroom processing and packing facility.
“We are also the first company in the UK to use a harvesting machine to pick the mushrooms, enabling us to double the amount picked to 70kg an hour,” he added.
David McCurley, senior investment manager at WhiteRock Capital Partners said: “The McKew brothers have extensive experience in the agri-food sector and this latest expansion to the business is testament to their growing reputation.”