The Burren Smokehouse in Co Clare will invest in new technologies and improve their energy efficiency after receiving funding from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.
The Lisdoonvarna-based business is one of 44 projects to share in a €26.8 million investment from the Seafood Processing Capital Support Scheme administered through BIM.
The scheme, which will deliver up to €45 million in funding to the seafood processing sector, is funded by the European Union under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR).
Founder Birgitta Hedin-Curtin is constantly looking for new ways to be more efficient with this €56,000 investment to benefit their business operations and their energy use.
“The grant aid that we’re receiving through the Seafood Processing Capital Support Scheme allows us to take opportunities to improve standards and reduce costs which is critical for an SME like us,” said Birgitta.
The Burren Smokehouse is investing in infrastructure and environmental efficiency, which will enhance its digital capability, processing efficiency and reduce its environmental impact.
New digital equipment including a digital control panel for the fish smoker will make the processing operation easier for staff to manage and allow greater control of costs. It will provide further digitisation including scannable stocktaking facility, integration of the website orders to improve speed of order management, fulfilment and traceability. An additional vacuum packer will increase capacity and future proof continued processing.
“The incentive of getting grant aid really pushes us to take opportunities to make improvements to our business that we otherwise might have held back on or not taken,” said Birgitta.
“Businesses like ours need to innovate and make improvements on a continuous basis but we also need to watch every cent. The funding from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve means we can take these opportunities to future proof our business and keep efficiencies high, which is essential in an environment where costs are rising. The support we’ve received from BIM has been incredible including great communication and proactive assistance. We’ve had great help with the application process when we needed it which had made it a smooth process.”
Established in 1989 by Birgitta and her husband Peter, the couple use organic farmed salmon to make their top-quality smoked products. The purpose-built smokehouse produced 60 tonnes of smoked fish in 2022, with Christmas orders accounting for around half of that.
The Burren Smokehouse is also home to the popular Taste the Atlantic Irish Salmon Visitor Experience, which attracts around 40,000 people each year.