Dawn Meats and Dunbia entered into a UK joint venture in 2017

Dawn Meats has taken full control of the UK joint venture it established with Dunbia in 2017, following the retirement of Dunbia founder Jim Dobson.

With Dunbia having sold off the remainder of its operations – including its Irish red meat processing business to Dawn as part of the 2017 JV – the merger marks the end of an era for Dunbia as a standalone business. 

However, Dawn said it would continue to trade under the Dunbia brand in the UK and under the same management, offering customers regionally sourced solutions for both beef and lamb from 12 processing facilities across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“Combining our operations in the UK has been a strategic success based on a strong cultural fit between two family owned businesses that shared a deep connection to farming and an ethos centred on quality and sustainability,” said Dawn Meats CEO Niall Browne.

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“Jim is a legend within our industry and we are proud to maintain the traditions and name he created as we continue to serve our UK customers and farmer suppliers.”

Dobson co-founded Dunbia with his brother Jack in 1976.

He said the JV had “ensured the business would continue to grow as a leading quality meat supplier in the UK market”.

Dawn Meat’s combined businesses in the UK and Ireland now process approximately one million cattle and three million sheep annually, employing over 7,000 staff, and working with more than 30,000 farmer suppliers.