MINISTER of State Michael Ring today (Friday) officially opened Irish Pet Foods in Westport. The new business, which manufactures dry dog and cat food, currently employs six people and this number will increase to 15 within two years.
It is owned by prominent Turkish businessman Mr. Rasim Selçuk who has already invested €3 million in the project and expects to invest another €2 million building up the business.
Enterprise Ireland has been an integral part of establishing the Westport plant and has worked closely with Mr. Selçuk since he took over the ex-fish food manufacturing plant two years ago.
Mr. Selçuk originally came to Ireland with the intention of purchasing machinery from the Skretting fish food manufacturing plant on Roman Island in Westport. The town made a deep impression on him, and instead he acquired the entire factory complete with machinery and set about changing it to a pet food manufacturing unit.
Speaking at today's opening, he said: “This is a very important day for me. My dream of officially opening Irish Pet Foods is now a reality.”
Speaking at the launch, Minister Ring said: “I am delighted to open Irish Pet Food’s new plant in Westport. With the help of Enterprise Ireland, which has the remit to target Foreign Direct Investment Projects in the food sector, Rasim Selçuk had the vision to see that locating his new pet food company in Westport would provide him with the valuable resources, infrastructure and community that he needs to start and scale a successful business.
“The announcement that this new business will create 15 jobs here in Westport over the next two years is hugely welcome and of great significance to the local and regional economy.
“It also demonstrates why this government is ambitious in its plans for regional job creation.
“I warmly congratulate Rasim, and all the team at Irish Pet Foods, and wish them every success for the future.”
* More on the story in our print edition