J F McKenna in Armagh is a major supplier of equipment and packaging to the mushroom, horticulture and poultry sectors throughout Ireland and the UK.
Among the many products J F McKenna supply to the horticulture sector is tree ties; rubber ties that are used to secure saplings to a stake. However changes in the way tree nurseries operate led to the company having a surplus stock of ties that were not selling but were taking up valuable warehouse space.
The Industrial Symbiosis Service has provided help and assistance to J F McKenna in the past and was approached by the company again to help find a solution for this resource. J F McKenna was particularly interested in finding a solution that would avoid disposal to landfill. The Industrial Symbiosis service introduced J F McKenna to a social enterprise in Larne that was a member of the Industrial Symbiosis network. Acceptable Enterprises provide work experience and productive employment for young people with physical and learning difficulties. Services include printing promotional materials, sample making and mail shots for other businesses.
Industrial Symbiosis aims to find mutually beneficial solutions and in this synergy J F McKenna found an outlet for their redundant stock of tree ties that avoided disposal while also helping to sustain a social enterprise.
Acceptable Enterprises, by breaking the tree ties down into small packs for online sale, stand to gain significant income which will help to sustain the business while also providing productive employment and work experience for disadvantaged young people.
“Thank you for giving me the contact at Acceptable Enterprises. Although there is no remuneration I am very happy that some people will benefit from them in some small way.”
Brendan Vallely, J F McKenna
The Industrial Symbiosis Service is funded by Invest Northern Ireland and delivered by International Synergies NI Ltd