With a relationship spanning more than 35 years with Stork Poultry Processing and more than 12 years with Townsend Further Processing, Western Brand and Marel are intrinsically linked.
Over the last 3 years, Western Brand have made significant investments in new further processing lines from Townsend Further Processing.
The Western Brand Group was established some 50 years ago and is one of the largest producers of chicken products in Ireland. The Co. Mayo-based company occupies two sites; a primary chicken processing plant at Ballyhaunis and a further processing facility at Lisnaskea. Numerous products are produced at Lisnaskea – mainly bone-in and bone-out coated poultry products – for customers as diverse as Dunnes Stores, Aldi, Lidl and foodservices supplier Green Gourmet. At the Ballyhaunis site, 450,000 chickens are processed every week by the 300 strong workforce and in Lisnaskea, 130 staff produce between 100 to 120 tons per week of the site’s 40 to 50 products.
Western Brand products are sold to retail and foodservice clients. From Ballyhaunis and Lisnaskea, products are shipped across the UK and Ireland, where the company has a strong position, particularly for their premium and value products.
“All our products are innovative!” says Michael Liddle, General Manager of the Lisnaskea site. “Especially our Popcorn Chicken and our Green Gourmet range, which is all non-fried and coated.” The main developments Western Brand see in their market and in consumer behaviour is the shift towards ready-to-eat meals.
The move towards ready-to-eat meals has been one of the main reasons for the new lines installed by Marel Townsend Further Processing. “We needed signifi-cantly more capacity, in particular to provide for the ready-to-eat market. Western Brand have very good experiences with Marel Townsend Further Pro-cessing, so the choice was easily made,” explains Michael Liddle.
A most important immediate future challenge is to fill the new lines, which include the ever popular RevoPortioner as well as the RotoCrumb, SpiralOven, BatterApplicator, frying, freezing and batching equipment. RevoPortioner copes beautifully with all meat masses and can make any shape Western Brand wishes to produce. All the machines in the line link up perfectly, giving the desired end result.
The long relationship between Western Brand and Marel Townsend Further Processing has always been a good one. “Well, usually,” teases Eugene Lannon, Managing Director of the Western Brand Group. Both Eugene Lannon and Michael Liddle speak well of the very pro-active nature of the Townsend Further Processing team and their excellent service.
“They’re all really helpful and we’re very happy with the technical support we’ve received over the years,” Eugene Lannon enthuses. “It’s a real partnership! There are frequently ‘Townsend tours’ with potential customers through our site and they’re welcome any time. We have no secrets.”
Marel is the leading global provider of advanced equipment, systems and services to the fish, meat and poultry industries. With offices and subsidiaries in more than 30 countries and a global network of more than 100 agents and distributors, we work side-by-side with our customers to extend the boundaries of food processing performance.
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