Following an investment of over £200,000, Nothern Ireland based Cloughbane Farm has launched a new range of convenience meals for the children’s market.

‘Cloughbane Little Farm’ is a selection of healthy and convenient ready-meals, created for children aged between one and six. Made from quality, locally sourced ingredients, the new range is cooked on the Robinson family farm, just outside Dungannon.

The products have already secured listings to the value of £750,000 with retailers including Aldi, Henderson Group and Musgrave Group, with several others to be announced soon.

The Cloughbane Little Farm brand had been in development for three years and another significant development for the family business.

The firm now employs 50 people, having experienced 25% revenue growth since 2013.

Lorna Robinson, managing director, Cloughbane Farm, explains how the new products came about: “We have been producing award-winning cooked dishes and pies for almost 10 years.

"When our own family grew, and my grandchildren were born, I was reminded of how difficult it can be for busy families to find tasty, nutritious and quick meal options for children...and so, we started to develop Cloughbane Little Farm.

“The meals have been rigorously tested throughout the development process, and we are delighted with the result. Independent sensory analysis carried out at CAFRE [the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise] compared Cloughbane Little Farm products to other children’s meals and the results show that panellists preferred the taste, appearance and texture of our range in every instance.

“As parents and grandparents ourselves, we understand how much care goes into selecting what young children eat, so these results are extremely important to us. We are proud to have created a range that helps busy families, without compromising on anything that matters.”

Opening the farm shop

The Robinson family has been farming in the townland of Cloughbane in Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone for over 150 years.

Up until 2002, the farm's beef cattle, sheep and laying hens were its sole source of income.

That year, the family got involved with a new farmers market set up by the local council. The success of the produce there prompted further investment in selling directly to the public with the fourth generation of the family founding Cloughbane Farm Shop in 2004.

In 2004, a larger building (formerly a pig house, then a sheep pen) was converted into what is now the shop, which features a 12ft butchery serve over counter, three other chiller cabinets for our own and other locally sourced products, fruit and vegetables plus some ambient lines.

Since then, the company has gone on to secure several significant listings for its prepared foods with retailers across the UK, including Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys.

Caption: Lorna Robinson, Managing Director, Cloughbane Farm pictured with grandchildren Bob, Connie and Grace Robinson as they launch 'Cloughbane Little Farm', a new range of healthy and convenient ready-meals created for children.