175th Anniversary Celebrations For White’s Oats
10th October 2016

Pitcured: (L-R) Trevor Lockhart, CEO Fane Valley, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister - Michelle McIlveen, James Mathers, General Manager - White's Oat & William McConnell - Chairman, Fane Valley

White’s Oats, founded at Tandragee County Armagh, the largest oat mill in Ireland and part of Fane Valley Co-Op group, is celebrating its 175th anniversary.

In 1841 White’s founder, Thomas Henry White, set out with a vision to modernise oat milling using ground-breaking techniques which promoted oats as a healthy and convenient consumer food. Over the course of the last 175 years, White’s has made that vision a reality and has been at the forefront of developing many new product categories, evolving into the market leading company that it is today.

In addition to its renowned Speedicook Porridge Oats, White’s has pioneered instant oats, granola and toasted oats as well as championing the development of the organic sector within the industry.  The company markets its products throughout Ireland, Great Britain and has a growing international presence.

As part of celebrations to mark the occasion, White’s hosted a special anniversary event at the Grand Opera House, Belfast on Wednesday 5th October.  The company’s employees celebrated with guests who have helped the company continue to succeed. Those who attended the event included Michelle McIlveen MLA, Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Fane Valley directors, oat growers, suppliers, customers and past employees. Guests were entertained by local playwright, Dan Gordon, who gave a unique take on the company’s history and local food ambassador Jenny Bristow who cooked up an array of delicious tasting oat recipes inspired over the course of White’s history.

Trevor Lockhart, CEO, Fane Valley commented: “White’s has a distinguished history as Northern Irelands’ only porridge producer, located on the banks of the Cusher River in the heart of County Armagh. We have been working with local farmers for many generations to provide the highest quality oats to make our award winning breakfast cereals. It is important to acknowledge the origins and truly remarkable endeavours exercised by White’s over its 175 years’’.  

“We have invested in our supply chain, production facilities, our people and consumer led product innovation.  Cumulatively these investments reinforce our commitment and passion for the future of White’s. The dynamic nature of the oat business demands that we continue to innovate to keep pace with evolving consumer needs. As we look forward we will seek to preserve our past whilst diligently and creatively focusing on future trends and growing our business through our supply chain excellence and new product development and innovation.” 

Speaking at the event, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “It is not often that a company gets to celebrate 175 years in business and White’s Oats should be very proud of this outstanding achievement.

“The company has very clearly demonstrated its ability to adapt to meet changing consumer demand over the best part of two centuries. It has diversified its range with innovative new products and expanded market outlets to take oats grown on Northern Ireland farms to local consumers and others beyond these shores. Happy Birthday to White’s Oats and every success for the future.”

James Mathers, General Manager, White’s Oats commented: White’s has always been at the forefront of developing relevant oat products that can enhance the modern diet and lifestyle and which make a positive contribution to the quality of our consumer’s lives.  Businesses evolve and today our purpose is on giving consumers choice to pursue a healthy lifestyle through a relentless focus on sustainable & healthy products.”