Building Your Business
PLATO EBR Launched its 2017-18 Site Visit Programme at Wilson's Country

13 October 2017

PLATO EBR Launched its 2017-18 Site Visit Programme on Thursday 12th October in Wilson’s Country, Portadown in the Council area of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough.


Wilson's Country was est. by Angus Wilson from the family farm in 1980s, after a short trial with goat’s milk in an attempt to diverse from the family Diary business. Since then the company has grown to become the leading potato brand and one of the premier potato packers and processors in Ireland. Employing over 100 staff working from a 6-acre site in Portadown, Wilsons hold key accounts with leading food retailers. The company has undertaken extensive recent R&D activity for cooked dressed products to satisfy the demands of today’s customers for convenience but healthy foods – fresh cut chips, less allergens and e-numbers, sweet potato fired and microwave whole peeled potatoes – the same freshness in 8 minutes!


Lewis Cunningham, MD of Wilson's who is also a PLATO Leader hosted the Tour. Lewis touched upon the importance of Branding and Marketing, and the importance of structuring your process for selling product. “Businesses need to challenge themselves openly, honestly and hard,” says Lewis.

PLATO company attendees could witness the significant investment of the company in automation including optical cameras to grade potatoes reducing human error. Visitors could view the entire Production Process from field to fork and gain an insight into managing Retail operations.


Some Lessons were:-

  • Need for Investment in order to be the Market Leader in any industry

  • Knowing what you offer - Premium Product/Service differentiates your business – doing more business with your existing customer can be more profitable.

  • Importance of Business Structure – what is making the business money, the bottom line

  • Value in monitoring consumer trends

  • Communication of Your Brand to the Consumer

  • Marketing campaigns & interacting with the customer…You Say Potato, we say…

  • Guiding Principles of the Company for Staff and Suppliers – rewarding staff


Group discussions also focussed on targeting the right customer, monitoring trends/getting ahead of the marketplace, external and seasonal impacts e.g. weather affecting crops – AFFECTING PRICE. The sales approaches to be adopted was also discussed and the relevance of tradeshows.


On behalf of attendees, Dr Cecilia Hegarty thanked Lewis an Ashley for the no area out of bounds tour and the insightful discussion led by Lewis centred on the topic of Selling to Customers.

 Image result for wilsons potato

Further PLATO EBR Site Visit Programmes will be announced shortly, PLATO member companies are encouraged to Register early to avoid disappointment. Further information email:

  • Cavan
  • Louth
  • Meath
  • Monaghon