Thomas Gilpin of Northern Ireland’s Gilfresh Produce has been presented with the Belfast Telegraph Cup at the Ulster Farmers’ Union’s (UFU) annual dinner.
The business, which was established more than 50 years ago by the Gilpin family, began supplying fresh produce to supermarkets under Thomas’ leadership in the mid-1980s. Today it grows and manages the growing of over 2,500 acres of field vegetables and salad crops in both Ireland and other parts of Europe via contract growers. It operates a packhouse and vegetable preparation facility at Loughgall in Co. Armagh and customers include Iceland, Lidl and Tesco.
Presenting Thomas Gilpin with his award, UFU president Ivor Ferguson said, “Thomas Gilpin is the founder of Gilfresh Produce, whose wealth of experience and innovative ideas have helped put Northern Ireland on the map as a major vegetable-growing region. Through Thomas’ dedication and commitment his vegetable-growing and processing enterprise has grown from a mere 4.5 acre field in 1965 to a multimillion operation with an annual turnover of approximately £18 million.
“Providing employment for 130 people… Thomas has been instrumental in securing contracts with multinational retailers such as Tesco and Lidl, helping put Northern Ireland vegetable produce on the shelves of supermarkets across the world.”
Photo Caption: Thomas Gilpin of Gilfresh Produce
Photo Credit: Bettlink