Robin Swann said:
“Recently I had the pleasure to lead an Ulster Unionist delegation, which included local UUP MLA Rosemary Barton, Councillors Victor Warrington, Diana Armstrong, Alex Baird and candidate John McClaughry to the Ready Egg premises.
“Whilst I had some previous awareness of the company, it was only during my visit that I actually realised the sheer scale and sophistication of the operation.
“The fact that its owner Charles Crawford, supported by a tight network of family members and loyal staff, has been able to grow the company to become one of the most powerful in the entire British egg market is a credit to his entrepreneurial abilities.
“It is now the largest UK processor of eggs, handling 4 million eggs a day – with many coming from local laying farms.
“During our discussions the company informed me of their ambitious plans to diversify into producing dried and powdered egg products. With a further investment of between £20-30m, the company is becoming an increasingly important player in the UK food market.
“Its products are primarily used in the food manufacturing industry, with 95% of its market in GB, 3% in the Republic and just 2% staying within Northern Ireland.
"With all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit the crystal clear message from this company was that any sort of border down the Irish Sea would be a total disaster for Northern Ireland food manufactures.
“So whilst politicians in London continue to squabble it’s more important than ever that companies such as Ready Egg are given a voice and are listened to. After all, they will be the employers who will have to rise to the challenge of overcoming any hurdles put in their way in the future.”