Creative Oak­park sets it­self apart from the com­pe­ti­tion

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - FOOD & DRINK IRELAND - OAK­PARK FOODS

Oak­park i s part of the fam­ily- owned Brett Group started in 1940 by Brid­get Brett and her four sons.

The com­pany has grown from the roots of a small agri­cul­tural mer­chant, sell­ing in­puts to farm­ers in Kilkenny and Tip­per­ary to a multi­na­tional pork and ba­con pro­ces­sor ser­vic­ing some of the big­gest re­tail­ers in the world.

Bretts are one of Ire­land’s lead­ing an­i­mal feed millers and grain mer­chants.

“We spe­cialise in pig feed, made pre­dom­i­nantly from Ir­ish wheat and bar­ley,” said a com­pany spokesper­son. “Oak­park has a di­rect sup­ply link with sis­ter com­pany Sun­glen Pig Farm which is a fully in­te­grated 1,500 sow farm lo­cated in Three­cas­tles, Co Kilkenny. Our mill in Cal­lan, Co Kilkenny, man­u­fac­tures pig feed us­ing a be­spoke diet.

“This is then fed to our own pigs on our farm in Three­cas­tles, Co Kilkenny. At Oak­park we process top qual­ity and delicious pork and ba­con.”

The Brett Group is deeply em­bed­ded within the Ir­ish agri- food in­dus­try — most par­tic­u­larly the pig sec­tor.

“Our fam­ily’s unique group of busi­nesses give us Seed to Fork prove­nance. At Oak­park we have in­vested heav­ily in the most mod­ern slic­ing and tractabil­ity tech­nol­ogy avail­able in the food in­dus­try. An in­vest­ment of more than €5 mil­lion in the past three years has en­abled our fac­tory in Cahir, Co Tip­per­ary, to sup­ply pre­mium pork and ba­con prod­ucts right across Europe and fur­ther afield.”

Oak­park made his­tory by win­ning back to back Gold Medals at the pres­ti­gious an­nual Gro­cer Own La­bel Food and Drink awards in London. Crowned “cat­e­gory cham­pion” of ba­con for their Ir­ish Thick Cut Honey Rasher, pro­duced un­der the Bran­nans range for Aldi UK and Ire­land, the award is par­tic­u­larly spe­cial as it marks back to back Gold Medal wins in the cat­e­gory and an in­cred­i­ble three Gold Medals in five years — beat­ing off stiff com­pe­ti­tion from all of the UK’s large re- tail­ers in­clud­ing Marks & Spencer, Mor­risons, Sains­bury’s, ASDA, and Tesco.

Gen­eral manger, David Brett, said about the award: “We are proud to yet again re­ceive this pres­ti­gious Gold Medal and pro­duce what the judges have now pro­claimed to be the best rasher on the UK mar­ket for two con­sec­u­tive years.

“We have been able to dif­fer­en­ti­ate from our com­peti­tors in re­cent years us­ing in­no­va­tive pack­ag­ing, clever new prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and be­spoke unique cures for our re­tail cus­tomers.

“This has added real value to our cus­tomers in a time when their shop­pers are de­mand­ing more qual­ity, in­no­va­tion and value in each cat­e­gory.”

David Brett, gen­eral man­ager of Oak­park Foods, and James J Brett, group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, with the Gold medal they won at the pres­ti­gious an­nual Gro­cer Own La­bel Food and Drink awards in London.

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