Mash Direct scaling up to meet demand with £10 million backing from HSBC UK

Mash direct SM Farm

Northern Ireland processed vegetable company Mash Direct plans to increase production capacity to meet growing demand for its products, following a £10 million funding package from HSBC UK.

The sixth-generation family business will use HSBC UK’s support to make its custom-built, on-farm production facility in County Down more environmentally friendly.

New solar and wind energy machinery will be installed along with a new waste water treatment facility, helping to future-proof the business by reducing its carbon footprint and making the overall plant more sustainable.

Mash Direct will also increase its capacity for growth by adding new production lines to its industrial kitchen so that it can produce new dishes and increase production capacity.

The business will add a new onion peeler that will free up space in its peeling area. It is also investing in robotics and enterprise management software.

During 2020 Mash Direct will hire 12 new staff to support its growth. The new roles will range from operations and management to sales, marketing, exports and human resources. The business is also investing in a robust training programme to up-skill its existing team.

Jack Hamilton, Chief Operating Officer, Mash Direct, said: “With growing demand for our range of products at home and abroad, it was essential that we invested in new, environmentally friendly machinery and in the talented, skilled staff we currently have.

“Improving our carbon footprint is very important to the business and great strides will be made to do this with our investment in new technology.

“HSBC UK shares our vision for growth and understands our immediate needs as a rapidly scaling SME in the agrifoods sector.”

Allan Wilkinson, Head of Agrifoods, HSBC UK, said: “Mash Direct is an exciting and ambitious SME operating in a highly competitive and thriving agrifoods sector.

“The improvements it is making to its farming operations with HSBC UK’s support will stand it in good stead as it aims to grow its market share and meet demand from customers across the UK and overseas.

“Family farms are at the heart of rural communities but with constantly changing agricultural policies, businesses must look at ways to safeguard and improve its business for growth.

“The most resilient businesses are the ones that look to the future and embrace change, and Jack and his team are certainly doing just that.”

The finance was allocated from HSBC UK’s national SME Fund, which aims to actively support UK businesses realise their ambitions for growth and navigate Brexit.

The new £14 billion SME Fund has recently been announced by HSBC UK, with £150 million committed to supporting SMEs in Northern Ireland.

The fund includes an increased ring-fenced pot for the agriculture sector, with the pot rising to £1 billion from £300 million last year.

Mash Direct was advised by Marty Colvin, Relationship Director in Northern Ireland at HSBC UK.

Mash Direct is run by Martin, Tracy, Lance and Jack Hamilton. It grows and produces approximately 40 processed vegetable and potato dishes.

It currently supplies major supermarket chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda, Waitrose, Co-Op, Aldi, Lidl, and Dunnes, and in 2018 Mash Direct products were also sold in the US for the first time.


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