Tipperary’s opportunity to attract inward investment is well aligned with the county’s current ecosystem and post-pandemic global trends, the Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, Marie Murphy has stated.
Launching the latest ‘Tipperary – The Place, The Time’ digital campaign aimed at raising awareness of the county’s attractiveness for FDI and indigenous investment, the local authority Cathaoirleach said that Tipperary is well positioned for what lies ahead.
“COVID brought unprecedented challenges to the world we live in and it has most definitely prioritised certain sectors going forward, sectors that were always important but ones that are perhaps even more so in the world we are now in,” Councillor Murphy stated.
“Sectors such as pharmaceuticals, technology, med-tech, food production and climate change are among those centre stage today and we have a strong presence in those in Tipperary,”
Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive, Tipperary County Council stated, “As we emerge from COVID, with climate change at the top of the agenda, we have a really strong green-focussed story to tell in Tipperary,” he said.
“Tipperary has the largest installed wind farm capacity of any county in Ireland and the fourth largest in total, which is remarkable given the wind strengths coming off the coast. There are a number of projects in the offing in the renewable space as well, not least the 360megawatt Silvermines Hydro development, which will provide enough energy to power 200,000 homes and then we have a number of planned large-scale solar farms, including what will be the country’s largest one. We are also part of the Mid-West region which has the potential to be the leading region nationally in this space and not least because of what Tipperary is bringing to the table,” he said.
The upcoming digital promotional campaign will showcase five companies that represent Tipperary’s attractive ecosystem, drawn from sectors including food production, technology and renewables, commencing with a niche but premium food-production company, Clonmel based Blanco Niño, which produces premium quality, authentic corn tortillas and tortilla chips.
“Blanco Niño is a really smart company that has chosen Tipperary as a base for produce sold into UK and EU markets. The food production sector in Tipperary has been synonymous with the likes of beef and dairy production but Blanco Niño shows the diversity now in the sector and how it is evolving into niche areas but still with that premium food production standard associated with Tipperary,” Mr MacGrath added.
In the video, Blanco Niño Founder and CEO Philip Martin confirms just why Tipperary is such a successful location for their operations. “The Blanco Niño team couldn't be happier to call Clonmel home. Since day one, we've been welcomed and supported with such incredible enthusiasm, whether it be the local enterprise office, the local council or the local business community. For food businesses, in particular, there's a fantastic ecosystem of quality producers who are highly collaborative and supportive. Much credit for this must go to the Tipperary Food Producers Network for fostering that community. In short, we're delighted to be able to call Clonmel home. I’d highly recommend Clonmel and Tipperary as a place to live, work and do business.”
Mr Martin explains that, from its Clonmel base, the company is selling product into 16 European nations and counts many of Europe's top Mexican restaurants, chefs and retailers as its customers. He also recalls his own quite organic journey in the industry.
“In many ways, Blanco Niño was a business started out of frustration. When I couldn't find high quality corn tortillas for my Mexican restaurant in Dublin, like the ones I'd become used to in Mexico and the US, I decided to make them myself. So, I jumped on a plane to Mexico and I went to the corn farms, the corn mills and the tortilla factories, all to learn and discover the process of making corn tortillas, as they had been made for thousands of years. I then came back to Ireland and set about launching what ultimately became Ireland's most successful crowdfunding campaign at the time, which enabled us to launch what we know today as Blanco Niño here in Clonmel.”
The company brings corn from the Americas, cooks and steeps them overnight, before using Mexican volcanic stones to grind the corn, which is then shaped and baked into the tortillas. They are then allowed to rest overnight before being hand cut and lightly fried to produce the premium tortilla chips. It’s a process that takes much longer than market competitors and is what sets the brand apart, he says.
“Time is a big ingredient in producing a really top-quality product and we wouldn't do it any other way,” he added.
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