Dunbia Pig Innovation Centre recently hosted a meeting of European Investment Bank officials at its research facility in Muckamore.

The purpose of the meeting which was arranged by Diane Dodds MEP as part of a two-day visit to Northern Ireland by Mr Pim Van Ballekom, Vice President of European Investment Bank, was to give the European Financial leader an insight into the developments and challenges of the pork industry in Northern Ireland.

Dunbia Deputy Chief Executive Mr Tony O’Neill welcomed Mr Van Ballekom and commented: “It is a huge honour for Dunbia to host the Vice President of the European Investment Bank to the Pig Innovation Centre and outline developments for the NI pork industry. There have been many positive developments recently.  In January, Dunbia was the first company to export NI pork to India and we are currently waiting on final approval for exports to China.  These developments have come about through strong collaboration between industry, government and key stakeholders.   Dunbia regards the European Investment Bank as a key stakeholder and has welcomed the opportunity to sit down with Mr Van Ballekom and discuss how the EIB can support future growth.”

Producer Malcolm Keys who also attended the meeting with Mr Van Ballekom added: “The Pig Innovation Centre is an excellent example of the producer, processor and retailer working together for the betterment of the pork industry.  It is essentially an investment in the future so it was hugely important that we could present this to the Vice President of the European Investment Bank. There have been some significant developments in the NI pork industry recently but there is much more to be done.  Engaging with institutions such as the European Investment Bank is all part of building the future.”

The Pig Innovation Centre is a research and development centre focused on creating commercially viable, higher welfare indoor production methods for the pig supply base. It is a joint venture between Dunbia and M Key Farms.