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Silverhill Farm Hosts IRDG Day

On Thursday 31st August, Silver Hill Farm were hosts to an Industry Research & Development Group Day (IRDG). The IRDG is an industry-led representative group for manufacturing and services companies involved in Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I). IRDG membership is relatively evenly divided between Irish-owned and overseas-owned companies, who range in size from start-ups to the largest companies in Ireland. Today, the IRDG represents all sectors of industry including electronics, software & telecommunications (ICT), financial services, food, software, engineering, healthcare & life sciences, plastics and utilities. As members of IRDG Silverhill Farm had the prestigious honour of hosting all other members nationally & internationally to Silver Hill Farm to showcase the Centre of Excellence, production facility and discuss how innovation has driven the growth and success of Silverhill. In the invitation sent out by IRDG to its members Silverhill Farm was described a  'one of the stars of Ireland’s growing agri-food sector'. It went on  'As a fully integrated food company Silver Hill has innovated every aspect of the business to create and capture value. Based on genetics and breeding, they have developed a quality innovative product that has provided unique access to the market. Their deep understanding of and responsiveness to customers and consumers is driving the market diversification strategy and informing new product development. With sustainability fast becoming a focal point for customers, Silver Hill has committed to a significant programme adopting innovative measures that have already exceeded targets to minimize waste, conserve natural resources and increase energy efficiency'.  The visit was of interest to agri-food companies, ICT, engineering, packaging companies servicing the agri-food sector and others with an interest in sustainability and planning for Brexit and a good number attended from all over Ireland. The IRDG was represented by Denis Hayes, Managing Director, and Bernie McGahon, Research & Innovation Services Manager. The day began with introductions by Denis Hayes and Ronnie and Lyla Steele were present and received high praise for their vision and business acumen. Michael Briody, CEO at Silver Hill Foods, was asked to address the gathering and he spoke of the innovative practices used  by Silverhill in its development from day 1 and how it led to the current success of the company. He gave an overview of the present status of the company and its markets worldwide and how it is planning for the future. Barry Cullen, head of Sales and Marketing at Silverhill, gave a timeline of the development and major steps along the way for the company from its origins in 1962, which was a very impressive story. Michael Briody then discussed Brexit and how it has impacted on the company to date and how it could have major implications in future but pointed out that Silverhill has many practices in place which will reduce the difficulties the company might face as a result of Brexit. This was followed by a lively QandA session and then the participants were taken in groups on a tour of the facility, which was very impressive. All then enjoyed a lunch of the 'best duck in the world' and all commented very favourably on the quality of the taste. There was much networking and exchange of views between the participants throughout which was an important ingredient of the Day and at the end Denis Hayes thanked Silverhill management and staff for a wonderful and highly interesting and beneficial day for all. As the participants departed they were presented with a gift of Silverhill Foods products.

Some of those who attended.

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