Dawn meats today finalized the agreements of the joint venture with Dunbia, set to be established in the UK.
The deal will see Dawn meats buy separately Dunbia’s operations, making it nine facilities owned by the company in total.
The combined business are expected to trade under the Dunbia title., and it is hoped it will deliver an enhanced market presence on UK markets and better serve existing suppliers and customers.
The venture will see customers have access to regionally sourced solutions in the lamb and beef sectors.
The move was announced with the impending Brexit negotiations in mind, with the company worried about the uncertainties involved with Britain’s exit from the EU. CEO of Dunbia, Jim Dobson, explained the reasoning behind the move, “Given the uncertainty posed by Brexit, this partnership should further underpin the competitiveness of both operations to the benefit of all stakeholders in the UK, Ireland and across Europe.”
He added “We are very excited about the future of both companies and the opportunities that this transaction will bring for our staff, customers and suppliers…In our key operating markets we will be involved in three leading national businesses with Dawn Meats in Ireland, Dunbia in the UK and Elivia in France, with our co-operative partners Terrena,”.
This move could pave the way for more Irish companies to follow suit, with lower exports/profits being the main worry for companies with regards Brexit.
With Dawn meats and Dunbia, two of Ireland’s premium meat suppliers, making the move across the pond one can only ponder the missed opportunities. This joint venture will see the creation of numerous jobs, although in the UK and not in Ireland. It could also see a rise in the use of British beef by the company with product being of easier access in the UK.
Should the move prove successful for both companies the fear is real that Ireland’s other premium meat suppliers will follow the path made by Dawn and Dunbia and try and regain their share of the UK markets.
Brexit hasn’t even been fully implemented as of yet but it is Ireland that are the first to start seeing the side effects. A lot has been done by the Department, Bord Bia and Teagasc to try and help companies cope with Britain’s impending exit from Europe.
Though the announcement of this latest venture will likely upset many figures within the industry, as it’s a shame to see one of our top exporters having to resort to relocation.
The obvious idea behind this move is to protect the current position of both companies, although as previously mentioned, should this prove successful many other major players in the Irish exports market would most definitely take the plunge.
It is easy for us, the Department, Teagasc and other major agricultural organisations to sit on the side lines, offer advice and judge the situation. Yet it is not us with millions of euros worth of profits potentially on the line.
It must seem the logical step for these companies to preserve current successes experienced on the UK markets. Although this move might not immediately effect Irelands economy, or indeed at all, but the potential risks associated could have a huge knock-on effect all the same. Who knows.
Its a shame to see this heavy degree of investment not being made in our own country. With live exports from the country recently on the rise, there was hope that Ireland could cope with any Brexit implications, especially in the beef industry.
Ireland now exports live animals to Turkey, Russia and numerous other countries. It is felt that these increases would help the industry cope with Brexit and the loss of exports to UK markets, although this is obviously not shared by the two companies now in partnership.
We can only hope this does not lead to an influx of Irish companies making the journey across the pond to cope with Brexit, in reality nobody knows what the future may hold.
The success of this new venture could be the shining example business look to when making decisions on their future in recent months. One can hope that they stay loyal to their country, and that they are offered adequate advice and support from the department in these testing, nervy times.