Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford
Tours: By appointment
Phone: +353 51 294107
Since 1785 Flahavan’s has played an integral role in helping families get the very best start to the day with a bowl of tasty, nutritious porridge.
Flahavan’s was founded over 230 years ago, and the picturesque village of the Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford has remained the bastion of Irish oat milling ever since.
Now in its seventh generation, Flahavan’s is under the helm of John Flahavan, who joined the family business full time in 1972.
Initially starting out in finance and sales, John took charge of the business in 2000 and guided the company on an upward trajectory with bold changes such as the introduction of new product lines, discovering new export markets and exploring new sustainable energy sources.
Flahavan’s Progress Oats, are the nation’s undisputed favourite, and have since been joined by more than forty new product lines which are now available in over 20 different countries including the UK, US, Spain, Russia, India and South Korea.
It was John’s foresight that led the company to produce a range of organic oats. “As a nation, we were becoming more health conscious and while people wanted traditional they also wanted organic, healthy and tasty” he said.
This decision proved to be a good one as organic oats became an important part of the business and today Flahavan’s is the largest brand of organic oats in both Ireland and the UK.
Other additions to the portfolio include the ever popular flapjacks, tasty granolas and mueslis as well as the flavoured quick oat varieties which were developed in response to the change in consumer trends, a result of our time-poor, fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyles. This move allowed Flahavan’s to reach a whole new audience as consumers still want the balance of a nutrient-packed cereal with traditional flavour and taste.
Although it has a global reach, Flahavan’s is very much invested in the community. The oats are sourced from local farmers within a 50 to 60-mile radius of the mill and some farms have been supplying Flahavan’s for many generations. Additionally, the majority of the 87 strong workforce hail from the locality and the community’s sense of pride and ownership in Flahavan’s is clearly evident.
Flahavan’s respect for the environment is equally apparent as sustainability is a significant factor in the company’s ethos. Flahavan’s has reduced the need for almost half a million litres of diesel per year as steam is produced from the burning of the oat husks. The company also has its own on site wind and water turbines which generate electricity for the facility’s production.
John takes particular pride in the plans afoot to build the Flahavan’s brand, along with developing exciting and innovative products. An important part of the strategy for growth is to expand the organic side of the business. The demand for organic has been established and this move will be of benefit to, not only consumers but farmers and suppliers alike.
The Flahavan’s story is over 230 years old and the future is bright for the Kilmacthomas business. Flahavan’s have introduced change to reflect consumer trends and stay relevant, but always without compromising the company’s ethos and values.