Fifty jobs will be created in the retail, food and agriculture sectors in Kilkenny City over the next five years.
AB Agri Ltd, the agricultural division of Associated British Foods (ABF) group is to establish a Technology Centre in the Marble City.
The announcement was made at lunchtime today by the Minister for Trade, Employment, Business & EU Digital Single Market Pat Breen at the Parade Tower in Kilkenny.
The project is supported by the Irish government through IDA Ireland.
AB Agri was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Peterborough, UK. The company employs over 3,500 people around the world and is a leading international agricultural business operating across the agri-food industry. It produces and markets animal feed, nutrition and technology-based products and services in 65 countries to over 5 million customers.
Kilkenny has been selected as the location of a new Technology Centre for Intellync, AB Agri ‘s data and technology business.
Intellync helps customers drive impact where it matters through bridging the gap between people, data and technology. Intellync works across agricultural supply chains with major food processors, retailers and directly with farmers to increase productivity, improve animal health and enhance corporate responsibility (CR) programmes.
This new Technology Centre will develop new generations of technology solutions that improve farm performance and drive continuous improvement across agricultural supply chains.
Speaking about today’s announcement José Nobre, Chief Executive of AB Agri said “AB Agri holds a unique position operating right across the agri-food industry. With over 30 years of expertise, we have a detailed understanding of agriculture’s importance in the global food supply chain and our philosophy is to help change it for the better.
“The holistic, targeted solutions developed by our new Intellync team and technology centre in Ireland will provide our industry with the insight to improve performance throughout the agri-food supply chain, helping it to meet the inevitable global growth in demand for food in a responsible way.
“The combination of our digital products, data insight and technological innovation with our expertise in feed and nutrition, will enable customers around the world, to produce and process high yielding, safe and nutritious food in a responsible way; helping them to use fewer chemicals and antibiotics, safeguard natural resources and create less waste and lower emissions.
“This is an extremely exciting time for agriculture; the fast pace of developments being made in technology and the use of data are going to help our industry to make the major step changes we need to see in improving responsible productivity, if we are to continue to feed our global growing population in a sustainable way.”
Ireland’s EU Commissioner for Trade, Phil Hogan, who welcomed today’s announcement for Kilkenny, said: ”Technology and data-driven innovation will be central to improving the efficiency, competitiveness and sustainability of our agri-food systems in the coming years. The establishment of this important Agricultural Technology Centre in Kilkenny will help Ireland to remain at the cutting edge of producing more, while using less.”
Minister for Trade, Employment, Business and EU Digital Single Market Pat Breen TD who attended the event said “I would like to welcome AB Agri to Kilkenny and wish them well for their future here. Their presence here further reinforces Ireland’s reputation as a progressive hub for innovation and technology. The digital age continues to present exciting enterprise opportunities and it is of course wonderful to see the continued availability of such highly skilled jobs in regional locations.”
IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan welcomed the announcement saying: “AB Agri is one of the largest companies operating in the European agricultural industry and is a most welcome addition to our portfolio of companies operating in the South-East region. This agtech project is ideally suited to Kilkenny which is located in an agricultural heartland, offering a good quality of life, a competitive business environment and access to tech talent. On behalf of IDA Ireland I would like to wish José Nobre and the local team our ongoing support at this exciting time of growth and innovation for AB Agri.”
The majority of the new roles will be in software development, software engineering and data science with other roles in HR, business administration and finance. For more information on the new roles go to: www.intellync.com