EDGEWORTHSTOWN, LONGFORD, IRELAND — C&D Foods, European own-label pet food manufacturer and subsidiary of ABP Food Group, announced Dec. 21 it will invest €48 million (roughly $52.3 million USD) to expand its workforce and production capacity in Edgeworthstown.

The investment was supported by Enterprise Ireland and will expand the site’s production capacity by 25%, according to ABP Food Group. Funds will also support the addition of 100 new engineering, operations, supply chain and quality assurance positions at the site.

“This is an exciting and significant step forward for our business,” said Colm Dore, managing director at C&D Foods. “We are seeing a trend across Europe where consumers are favoring pouched pet food for smaller companion animals, and we are in prime position to continue to capitalize on the growing demand for these types of products.”

Funds will support C&D’s innovation on an international stage as it seeks to address an influx of interest in single-serve meals. The investment is also expected to help C&D meet growing demand for pet food in Europe, where the pet population climbed to more than 231 million dogs and cats in 2023.

“This investment will enable the company to maintain its position at the forefront of the pet food market while also leading to the creation of new high-skilled jobs and positive economic development in our local community,” Dore added.

C&D Foods will leverage the investment to add square footage to the Edgeworthstown building, including space for state-of-the-art multi-packing and pouch filling systems. New and upgraded equipment will be selected with sustainability in mind, according to the company.

“A key goal for Enterprise Ireland is to support companies to make the transition to the low-carbon, resource-efficient economy of the future by increasing their level of innovation and all the while improving their competitiveness,” said Leo Clancy, chief executive officer at Enterprise Ireland. “We have worked closely with C&D foods to support them with their sustainability strategy, reducing carbon by investing in carbon abatement technologies, and driving productivity through investing in digitalization technologies.”

As part of its sustainability strategy, C&D Foods partnered with ProAmpac in 2021 for the supply of pet food pouches. The partnership also involves the collaborative development of more sustainable pouch packaging solutions, including recyclable.

“This large investment into the new showcase plant in Edgeworthstown reflects highly on the entire Irish food sector — pooling together innovation with best-in-class facilities to drive sustainable practices,” Clancy added. “We look forward to working closely with C&D Foods to optimize their full international growth potential, creating and sustaining jobs here in Longford.”

According to Enterprise Ireland, this latest investment in Edgeworthstown brings ABP’s total funding of the plant to €118 million (roughly $130.9 million USD) since it 2006. ABP also operates 11 C&D facilities across the United Kingdom, France, Holland, Denmark and Austria. The company currently employs 500 people in Ireland and another 1,400 across Europe.

“I am delighted to join the C&D Foods team today to celebrate the announcement of the expansion of their facilities and the creation of jobs here in Longford,” said Dara Calleary, Ireland’s minister of state for trade promotion, digital and company regulation. “A key priority for this government is to foster regional enterprise development and create jobs across all the regions of Ireland. C&D Foods is an Irish company that has experienced impressive growth, producing premium pet food and today’s expansion announcement is a great boost for Longford as well as the wider Midlands region, paving the way for this home-grown company to significantly scale its business.”

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