Company History

Today, Moy Park is a billion pound business operating across several countries; however, it began life as a modest farming company in 1943 in Moygashel, a small village and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, with interests in many aspects of farming including dairy, potatoes and egg production. Producing chickens for eating was actually just an incidental part of egg production with the male laying birds being processed and sold to the supermarkets as frozen whole chickens!

Click on the dates below to see information on what happened within Moy Park in that year.

  • 2017

    U.S.-based Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation acquired Moy Park. Pilgrim’s is a publicly listed company in the U.S., with 2016 annual revenues of US$7.9 billion, and is part of JBS USA. It is one of the leading chicken producers in the world, with over 40,000 employees and operations in the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico. Like Moy Park, Pilgrim’s has a strong track record and commitment to driving growth. To learn more about Pilgrim’s, please refer to the company’s website: www.pilgrims.com

  • 2016

    • Moy Park has achieved a top 10 place within the leading UK Food and Drink companies (reference: The Grocer and OC&C Strategy Consultants).
    • Investments
    - Ashbourne Hatchery investment capacity up to 1.2 m chicks per week with the latest in equipment and animal welfare standards.
    - Ashbourne factory increase to over 1 million birds per week.
    - Dungannon fresh primary site investment completed reaching 2.2 million birds per week.
    - Craigavon £4m ‘Ready to Eat’ investment completed.
    • Innovative development and launch of omega-3 chicken in collaboration with our partners. The UK's first chicken that is a source of omega 3. Omega 3s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that have healthy properties which help to maintain normal heart, brain and vision function.
    • At the start of 2016 we announced a major investment in a strategic multi-year skills programme covering a comprehensive suite of training and learning initiatives including leadership and management development, technical competences and functional skills across the entire company workforce.
    • UK Meat & Poultry Processing Awards - Processing Business of the Year; Retail Processor of the Year; Product Developer of the Year - 2016
    • Food Manufacture Excellence Awards -  ‘Training Programme of the Year’ - 2016
    • The Grocer New Product Development Award - Roast in the Bag chicken - 2016

  • 2015

    JBS – One of the major highlights in 2015 was joining the JBS Group, one of the world’s most successful food companies.

    5 million bpw – In 2015 Moy Park increased its output to 5 million chickens per week for the first time in the company’s history. This represents an increase of 60% in the past 6 years; growing from approximately 3.1 million birds per week in 2009.

    Capex – In 2015 we carried out a significant capital investment programme to enhance production capabilities, securing Moy Park’s position as one of the most advanced food manufacturing companies in the UK.  This includes the first phase of a major £20m investment at our primary processing facility in Dungannon in Northern Ireland, £4m in our ‘Ready to Eat’ facility in Craigavon, NI as well as a £10m investment in our Ashbourne factory and hatchery in England.  Investment in supporting our agriculture infrastructure continued on farm and in hatcheries.  Moy Park is proud to work with over 800 local farmers across the UK who supply poultry to the highest quality and welfare standards.

    L&D – Investment has not focused solely on our operations, we also have a fundamental commitment to investing in, nurturing and developing our team members. Our learning and development programme is a great example of this. This framework offers opportunity for those at all levels throughout the business to develop skills to contribute to our success.

    Recognition – In 2015 Moy Park received a number of important awards and accolades from customers and independent bodies. These include awards for sustainability, learning and development, marketing and product quality awards, such as:

    • UK Food Manufacturing Company of the Year,
    • RoSPA Health & Safety Award,
    • IGD John Sainsbury Learning & Development Award,
    • UK Director of the Year Award for Leadership in Corporate Responsibility from the national Institute of Directors.
  • 2014

    Celebrating World Environment Day in June Moy Park announced the achievement of the ambitious goal of sending zero waste to landfill across 14 manufacturing sites and agricultural base throughout the UK and Europe. In just four years Moy Park has reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill from 80% to 0%. Moy Park extended its corporate responsibility performance to achieve a 3 Star rating in the Corporate Responsibility Index (CR Index), and was confirmed as one of the most improved companies in the UK's leading and most in-depth voluntary benchmark of corporate responsibility assessed by Business in the Community. Moy Park's brand received global exposure through group sponsorship of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.

  • 2013

    As part of Marfrig’s strategy of becoming a leading global food company with a strong presence in its core markets, the European business units were brought together as a united European Business under the direction and leadership of Moy Park. The purpose of this new and more integrated organisation is to drive sales volumes revenues and enhance margins across Marfrig’s UK, Ireland and Continental European business.

    In April Moy Park announced plans for a major £20m investment in its Grantham food processing site in Lincolnshire. The investment came on line during the summer months with a new state-of-the-art Convenience Foods facility, creating over 150 additional jobs in the local area.

    The Orleans, France, beef plant has been completely redeveloped with a €25 million euro investment in a 5,000 square metre extension doubling the size of the factory, improving traceability, modernising and simplifying production to improve competitiveness. Investment in new freezing technology has replaced the previous cryogenic deep freezing by nitrogen with the most modern and efficient mechanical chilling powered by electricity. The finished product is guaranteed 100% pure beef, only muscle meat is used in the production process so no ingredients, either salt or fat, are added to the patties. There are nearly 150 employees working on site.

    In a strong signal of a positive commitment to customers and the local agriculture base, Moy Park launched a major grower expansion programme, which will increase breeder and broiler growing capacity by up to 400 poultry houses in Northern Ireland over the next 24 months to the end of 2015.

    Moy Park’s performance as a corporately responsible business has been highlighted with recognition and awards in workplace and employment practices, the agricultural supply chain, environmental performance, sustainable best practice, manufacturing excellence and outstanding individuals.

    In April Moy Park became the first company in the poultry industry to achieve Bronze in the Corporate Responsibility Index, as assessed by Business in the Community and we also achieved “Environmental Initiative of the Year” in the Meat & Poultry Processing Awards.

    The business continues to materially invest in the further development of its commercial capabilities through areas such as innovative food development, consumer insight and effective customer and category marketing. Particularly pleasing is the progress made with the Moy Park brand in Ireland where it is now market leader.

    Employment in Moy Park reached 12,000 colleagues, in part through this European reorganisation, and the business now processes 4.5m birds per week.

     

    Moy Park was awarded the title “Processor of the Year” 2013 in the Pig & Poultry Marketing Awards.

  • 2012

    Jamie Oliver and Moy Park formed an exciting new partnership to produce a brand new range of ready to cook chicken products, reared to Compassion in World Farming standard. Jamie Oliver and Moy Park share similar values with our poultry farmers who employ the highest standards on their farms, ensuring sustainability, welfare and product quality are their priorities.

    Moy Park entered into a two year golf sponsorship deal with the European Tour to support the 2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush and the 2013 Irish Open at Carton House, Kildare.

  • 2011

    The Prince of Wales visited a Moy Park farm supplying “Duchy Originals from Waitrose”. Moy Park has supplied all the organic chicken for the Duchy Originals product range since 2011, products which are based on the values of local organic food, grown and produced sustainably.

    Phase 1 of the £15m Ashbourne Redevelopment Project was completed in February 2011, which resulted in a new primary processing factory, with improved bird welfare facilities, the latest technology in gas stunning, offal recovery, state of the art odour abatement equipment and energy efficient utilities. In addition, the new Stork processing line has increased capability from 8,000 to 10,500 birds per hour. Phase 2 brought enhancements in the form of an automatic vehicle offloading system for animal welfare and employee health and safety, a more efficient cutting facility, effluent plant for improved environmental impact and an upgrade to amenities and site security.

  • 2010

    In 2010 O'Kane Poultry Limited in Ballymena, Co. Antrim was acquired. This move further improved Moy Park's performance, giving a record breaking sales revenue of £1.07bn in the year ending 31 December 2011. It also gave Moy Park a foothold into the turkey meat sector in which O'Kane Poultry is a major player. In November 2010 a new state of the art turkey processing facility was officially opened in Ballymena as part of a £21m investment. The investment has resulted in a 65,000-square foot factory extension, which allows production of one million fresh turkeys for the Christmas period.

  • 2009

    Moy Park opened its state of the art £28m factory in Anwick following a complete redevelopment of the site based on an evolution of the successful Dungannon model which doubled the footprint of the factory and raised capacity initially to 1.4 million birds per week.

  • 2008

    In 2008, the OSI Group transferred ownership of Moy Park Limited to the £1.2bn Brazilian Food Group Marfrig. The acquisition meant that Moy Park was now part of the world’s 9th largest poultry company and the 4th largest red meat company. It also gave Moy Park a more global perspective.

  • 2004

    In 2004 Moy Park took the lead in two acquisitions with its parent company OSI Group effectively doubling the size of Moy Park.

    The first, GW Padley Poultry, was one of the UK’s largest poultry producers, with its own chicken farms, as well as processing plants in Grantham, Wisbech, Anwick, and Bury St. Edmunds. The addition of Padley helped to double Moy Park’s total production capacity, boosting sales to more than £600 million.

     

    Soon after, OSI completed a second UK acquisition, Dove Valley, based in Ashbourne, primarily supplying whole chickens and chicken portions, as well as a limited amount of cooked chicken products.

  • 1999

    The Dungannon primary plant was refurbished and expanded, making it the most modern site in Europe operating to the highest standards of quality and efficiency. The new factory more than doubled the size of the existing Dungannon site to over seven hectares and is now capable of portioning over half a million birds per week. From 2009 the site became the headquarters to all Moy Park’s agricultural management.

  • 1998

    Investment was not restricted to bricks and mortar - Investors in People Awards were gained by most sites in the group throughout the 1990s.

    The position in France was consolidated with the acquisition of the former Cuisine de Licques plant in Marquise, offering state-of-the-art technology for the manufacture of sandwich meat.

     

    In 1998 the joint venture with Bourgoin was bought out giving Moy Park sole ownership of the site at Henin Beaumont near Lille.

  • 1996

    In 1996 Moy Park became part of the Global OSI Group yielding many synergies across a number of boundaries.

  • 1991

    Developments continued apace - joint ventures with Bourgoin in France (1991); a new state-of-the-art parent stock hatchery at Carn; and a new cold store, also at Carn, consolidated the group’s position.

    Sales to the GB supermarkets had grown as the supermarkets had become the nation’s grocers, and to meet their needs a commercial office at Crewe had become the sales and marketing nerve centre of the company.

  • 1980

    In 1980 the acquisition of Kew House Farm from Dalgety gave the company its first factory in England.

    The turning point for Moy Park Limited, and the real start of the Moy Park story, was in 1984, when the company was sold to the directors by Courtaulds. The new owners wasted no time in moving into what is now the company’s headquarters and major manufacturing site at Craigavon, Co. Armagh. Rapid and extensive investment was made in the site, including complete refurbishment in 1990. This was the start of the company’s very rapid growth into the burgeoning convenience foods market.

     

    Products that we take for granted today were very new then, and were eagerly adopted by families who appreciated the time saved by high quality, good value products which were quick and easy to cook.

  • 1973

    Meanwhile, the agriculture side of the business was developing, and a second hatchery for broiler stock was opened in 1973. Over the next two years the Moira factories were further expanded to move into cooked and portioned chilled chicken. In 1975 the new primary processing plant at Coolhill near Dungannon, Co Tyrone was opened and became the first chicken processing factory in Ireland to be granted an EEC export licence.

  • 1972

    In 1968 Courtaulds bought the share capital of both Moygashel and Moy Park, and production continued to increase so that by 1972 it was 10 fold that of the early 1960’s. At this time whole chickens were the only product on offer and were still a Sunday treat for most families!

  • 1963

    For the first time in 1963 the company began to supply the expanding GB supermarkets. The new facilities at Moira had enabled it to take on large volume contracts, which the new and fast-growing supermarkets were placing. This was only the start of things to come, and in 1966 a new factory was built on a green field site in Moira, quadrupling capacity.

  • 1960

    By 1960, Moygashel had taken on the management and subsequent ownership of the Ulster Farmers Cooperative, which included a factory in Moira. The Moira factory soon became known as Moy Park Ltd and was incorporated as a subsidiary of Moygashel.