Project Description

Established in County Waterford, Ireland in 1980, Dawn Meats is a family business that remains true to its farming heritage. With a continuous focus on quality and customer service, it has grown to become the meat supplier of choice to a range of leading supermarket, food service and manufacturing businesses. Dawn Meats is a privately-owned company with a turnover of 1.2 Billion Euro, with in excess of 3,000 employees. It is supplied by 20,000 Irish and British farmers, and processes more than 550,000 cattle, 800,000 sheep, and 300,000 tonnes of meat products per annum. Dawn’s product portfolio ranges from bone in and boneless beef and lamb to burger patties, ready to heat meal solutions and on the go meat snacks in chilled, frozen or fully cooked formats.

Innovation is necessary for Dawn Meats to compete effectively in an international market, and grow the company. Innovation in New Product Development showcases the expertise within the company by winning awards – in 2015 it received 8 consumer awards in competitions such as the World Steak Challenge and the Great Taste Awards, and it has a high level of achievement and awards for its work in the area of sustainability. In the longer term, innovation allows Dawn Meats to generate valuable, protectable IP which can be leveraged in different ways from in-house use, to licensing, to spin-out technology companies.

Innovation in Dawn Meats also means close co-operation with strong technical partners, both academic and key technical industrial suppliers in several countries – from consultancy, validation and testing on specific projects, to Innovation Partnerships and Horizon 2020 joint projects. Dawn Meats is a key member in the new Meat Technology Ireland centre (a research co-operation between 8 Irish meat producers and 3 Irish Research Organisations), which started multi-annual pre-competitive meat research projects in 2017.

Innovation in Dawn works at 3 levels – from farm level up to the abattoir, primary product Innovation at production level, and New Product Development to drive and enhance our retail product business. Currently, there are approximately 30 personnel working directly in the areas of Innovation and NPD, plus the ability to draw on senior management experience and other personnel in the implementation of projects. Dawn Meats has made significant investment in New Product Development at its retail packing plant in Cross Hands, Wales, with a full test kitchen and taste panel testing facilities, and in primary product Innovation with a test laboratory in Carroll’s Cross, Ireland. Dawn Meats maximises innovation through strong strategy and process, giving sufficient resources to 3 high-quality cross-functional Innovation teams, with top-down active participation and encouragement from senior management.

Role in NanoPack:

  • Participating in pilot testing of packaging of meat product’s using Dawn’s existing production line, and assessment of the packaging in giving significant shelf life extensions.