65 new jobs are to be created in Co Waterford following a deal between McDonald's Ireland and Dawn Meats.

The Co Waterford based company has won a five-year contract, worth €300m, to process up to 18,000 tonnes of Irish beef annually for McDonald's.

The deal has led Dawn Meats to invest €14.5m in a new purpose built processing facility in Carrolls' Cross, Co Waterford.

100 jobs were created during the construction of the plant which started last December.

The deal came after a review of beef processing capacity across McDonald's Europe which identified the need for an additional processing plant in Europe.

Ireland was identified as "a strategically important market" with the potential for long term assured supply.

Dawn Meats has partnered with McDonald's for the past 25 years.

Previously, Irish beef had been transported to the UK and Europe for processing, before entering the McDonald's supply chain in those markets.

Adrian Crean, Managing Director of McDonald's Ireland said that the decision by McDonald's to award the contact to Dawn Meats was driven by the success of the longstanding business relationship between the two companies and by "the quality and reliability of the Irish beef sector."

McDonald's is the single largest purchaser of Irish beef by volume, purchasing approximately 40,000 tonnes of Irish beef annually and it expects to grow this further in the years ahead.

The company exported €110m worth of Irish beef in 2011, up from €80m in 2008.

18,000 Irish farmers supply beef into the McDonald's system.

Currently, approximately 20% of all beef used in McDonald's Europe is of Irish origin meaning one in every five hamburgers purchased in McDonald's restaurants across Europe is made of Irish beef.