Dunbia owners, Jim and Jack Dobson have been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious UTV Business Eye Awards in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.

The brothers, who founded their meat processing company Dunbia 40 years ago, were presented with the award in recognition of their contribution to the Northern Ireland Agri-Food industry and to the economy as a whole.

The judging panel which included UTV Business Editor Jamie Delargy, Richard Buckley, Editor of Business Eye magazine and Gary McDonald, Irish News Business Editor acknowledged that Northern Ireland has “a number of companies that epitomise what can be achieved through drive, determination, entrepreneurial vision and real leadership” but agreed that “company growth stories don’t come much better than Dunbia which, with its roots in rural County Tyrone, has grown through the years to become a true giant, not just in the agri-food sector but in the economy here as a whole.”

A combination of organic growth and strategic acquisition led by Jim and Jack Dobson’s entrepreneurial drive and vision has seen Dunbia grow from a small butcher’s shop in Moygashel, Co Tyrone to become a 10 site operation employing over 4,500 people and recording a turnover of £830m.

Accepting the award, Jim Dobson commented: “I am truly humbled to receive the UTV Business Eye Lifetime Achievement Award which I am accepting on behalf of the all our employees across the Dunbia Group.  Dunbia has been blessed with an exceptional workforce over the years and it is their dedication and loyalty that has shaped the company and put us in the position we are in today.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them for their ongoing support.”

Jack Dobson agreed: “Winning a Lifetime Achievement Awards makes you look back and reflect on what you have done over the years.  I am a farmer at heart and I am really proud of the relationships we have built with our suppliers, many of whom have been supplying us with livestock for generations.”

“The relationships with our suppliers and customers are the cornerstone of our success, “added Jim. “When you build a business from scratch, you appreciate every single sale made and customer gained and you work hard at ensuring they are given good product and service.  Our customers include some of the largest retailers in Europe, some of whom have been with Dunbia for over 30 years which is something I take great pride in.  Quality products and excellent customer service are the values which underpin every deal we have ever done and which we believe sets us apart from many of our competitors.”

Jim and Jack Dobson are renowned business leaders having previously won national business awards.  Jim was named IoD UK Director of the Year in 2014 and Jack won EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015.