Gluten-free specialists James Doherty (Meats) in Derry is expanding its business in Britain as a result of a deal with Central Foods, based near London with a depot in Nuneaton.

Central is now distributing Doherty’s range of gluten-free Irish pork sausages, cocktail sausages, meatballs and burgers. 

The new agreement follows the success of the Northern Irish meat business in winning a listing from Ocado. It already supplies Asda in the UK with a range of meat products.

Brian McQuaid, Doherty’s sales manager, says the deal with Central Foods is a major development for the business in its strategic focus on extending outlets in Britain particularly in foodsevice.

“Central is an excellent fit for us because it supplies meat products to over


210 independent delivered wholesalers, as well as the larger national and regional wholesalers, and larger end-user caterers across the entire foodservice industry.

“Gluten-free is now an important market for us because of the fast growing demand for such products especially popular meats such as pork sausages and burgers.”

Doherty Meats has its roots in a butchery business in Derry stretching back to the 1830s. The company has also been developing its business in the Republic of Ireland and has recently set up a distribution channel in Spain.

Central’s range consists of over 300 product lines, from burgers, sausages, savoury suet puddings and desserts through to poultry, free-from, vegetarian lines and hand-made canapés.  It also delivers to customers in Spain, Portugal and Cyprus on a weekly basis.

The company, which now employs 45 people at its modern and HACCP approved processing plant, produces sausages, minced beef products, bacon, ham and black and white puddings. Ingredients are sourced from a network of local suppliers, ensuring complete traceability.