Jack Dobson, Dunbia’s co-founder and owner, has won a coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 Award.

Jack, who founded Dunbia with his brother Jim in 1976, scooped the top prize in the industry category at a glittering ceremony in Dublin last night which was attended by Ministers, business leaders and key influencers from across Ireland.

On accepting the award, Jack said: “I am absolutely shocked but hugely honoured to receive this award which I am accepting on behalf of my brother Jim and all our employees in Dunbia who work tirelessly to make our company the success it is today.  I also really want to acknowledge the farmers who supply us and our customers whose long-term relationships and loyalty have allowed us to grow the company over the years.”

Dunbia is one of the largest meat processing companies in the UK, employing over 4,000 people across 11 sites in the UK and Ireland with an annual turnover of £830m.  The company processes beef, pork and lamb for some of Europe’s largest retailers, food service, commercial and manufacturing companies and is now trading in over 36 countries world-wide.

Jack has been at the forefront of driving the company forward, linking suppliers and customers to create an integrated supply chain and a long-term, sustainable industry for all.

Anne Heraty, chairperson of this year’s judging panel, out-lined the judges’ decision: “It was Jack Dobson’s vision that turned a small, family butcher shop, established in 1976, into now the largest meat processing company across the UK and Ireland.  With a supplier base of almost 25,000 farmers, Jack is committed to working alongside them to develop a value chain which is sustainable and profitable for all – truly a deserving winner of the Industry EY Entrepreneur of the Year category,” she said.

Jack beat off competition from entrepreneurs across a range of industries which led him to highlight the agri-food industry to potential employees: “This award has put a very positive spotlight on the agri-food industry and in particular on meat processing sector.  The career opportunities in this industry are immense with excellent potential to develop and progress.  I never thought that I would be holding an EY Enterpreneur of the Year Award but here I am.  The opportunities are there to be taken within Dunbia and the wider agri-food industry.”