Irwin’s Bakery will invest €1m into its Irish supply chain network during the next three years to create a direct route to retailers in the Dublin area.

The family-owned business, based in Portadown, County Armagh, believes the investment will bring about an initial €750,000 increase in turnover during the next year.

Irwin’s has supplied its retail customers in the south of Ireland via third party distribution centres, and directly to key retail partners Tesco Ireland and Dunnes Stores. However, the move - which includes buying new distribution vehicles - will provide a more efficient and direct level of contact with retailers.

The company has also secured new distribution partners in the Cork and Tipperary area, providing improved accessibility to retailers in Munster.

Brendan Lappin, business development manager, said: “For the independent retailer, having direct contact with a bakery supplier allows for two-way communication and improved efficiencies across orders, stock control and delivery management.”

These developments are part of a wider strategy by the business, which includes investment in new product development; Irwin’s has recently launched four new product lines into Tesco Ireland from its Howell House branded cake and biscuit range.