Craigavon forklift plant Hyster donates its 500,000th lift truck to Mallusk-based FareShare

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An unusual donation by a Craigavon-based business marking a landmark in its business is to play a vital role in distributing surplus food to worthy causes throughout Northern ireland.

The 500,000th forklift from the factory producing Hyster® lift trucks has been donated to FareShare in Northern Ireland, part of the UK’s longest running food redistribution charity.

Representatives from FareShare, based in Mallusk, visited the Craigavon plant to receive the handover of the new truck – a Hyster J1.6XNT three-wheel electric lift truck.

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Stewart Murdoch, senior vice president, managing director, EMEA and Darren Johnston, Craigavon plant manager for Hyster Europe presented the truck, which features a panel containing the name of every current employee at the manufacturing plant, to Roisin Colohan, operations manager, representing FareShare.

The special event was also attended by Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon Borough Council, Alderman Margaret Tinsley, and Roger Wilson, council chief executive.

In Northern Ireland, FareShare is part of local charity Homeless Connect which has been operating the project for 13 years.

Declan McKillop, head of operations at Homeless Connect, said: “We are absolutely delighted that FareShare in Northern Ireland has been chosen to receive the half millionth forklift truck.

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"The Hyster truck will play a vital role at our depot in Mallusk in helping us to redistribute good quality surplus food to over 170 local charities, community groups, schools, homeless hostels, and foodbanks that we support every week.”

FareShare provides Northern Ireland’s largest food redistribution network. Last year it distributed 669 tonnes of food, equivalent to 1.6 million meals to 179 charities, community groups, and schools throughout Northern Ireland. More than 35,000 people each year benefit from FareShare food.

The donated truck will be used in warehouses, based in Newtownabbey, where food items for redistribution are stored. The truck will be supported by UK and Ireland Hyster dealer Briggs Equipment, which will provide free-of-charge training and servicing during the warranty period.

"Giving back is something that is incredibly important to our whole team,” says Darren Johnston, plant manager at the Craigavon site.

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“Supporting a great cause that benefits those in our local community seemed the ideal way to celebrate the milestone of manufacturing half a million trucks on our production lines.

"The Hyster electric lift truck we have donated is highly reliable, efficient, and operator friendly, giving FareShare and Homeless Connect equipment they can depend on, so that they can continue the great work they do to help people.”

Stewart Murdoch, senior vice president, managing director, EMEA for Hyster added: “For more than 40 years of successfully operating in Northern Ireland, we are proud to continue to play a strong part in the local Armagh City, Banbridge, and Craigavon community and to have achieved this landmark milestone of 500,000 lift trucks produced at our Craigavon facility is simply wonderful.

"The long-term success of our organisation is down to the passion, commitment and dedication shown by our incredible workforce and I would like to thank them all for the positive contribution that they make to both our company and the wider community. It is an absolute privilege to have my tenure with the company coincide with this landmark milestone in our continuing history in Craigavon.”