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Getting to know us

Overarching Policy Introduction

At Standard Brands we take great care in our responsibility regarding health and safety, the environment, quality control and our proud Irish production heritage.

For the past 80 years, our business has been committed to creating and upholding a safe working environment for our employees. We take our environmental responsibility seriously as well as holding strict quality control for the production of our firelighters and other ignition products.

Meet the team...


Matt Tomlinson

Managing Director“Fortune favours the brave”

Denis McCourt

Finance & Factory Director“I'm sorry, if you were right, I'd agree with you.”

A qualified accountant, Denis worked in private practice for the first part of his career dealing with a wide variety of clients. Post qualification, he moved into industry, working in a number of divisions of the Rennicks Group owned by the Fitzwilton Group, where his roles included responsibility for management accounts’ preparation, project costings and cash flow management. He joined Standard Brands after its incorporation in 2001 as Assistant Financial Controller and was appointed Finance Director in September 2008. Denis was appointed Factory Director in 2010.

Stuart McCready

Sale Director Ireland & USA“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

Pat Kiernan

Director Head of Finance & IT“Don’t go home any day without learning something new.”

Previously Financial Controller in one of the largest furniture wholesalers in Ireland and UK. Based in Dundalk Co Louth, Pat was part of a team which grew the business into a successful wholesale business, doubling turnover in 3 years and opened a distribution centre in the UK along with a direct sell internet business. Prior to that was employed by Irish Food Processors Group (now ABP) for 24 years and filled a number of key positions in the company such as Group Consolidation Accountant, Group Treasury Accountant, and Group Management Accountant.  Joined  Standard Brands in September 2011 as Group Financial Controller and was appointed to the Board of Directors in March 2015.  Pat is also Director of local Credit Union, Trustee of local Community Centre and has coached and mentored numerous successful underage Gaelic football teams over the past 13 years.

Alison Whiting

Head of Marketing“Life is too short, just go for it and figure it out after!”

Siân Griffiths

Marketing Manager “If you don't like something make a positive step and change it.”

Thomas Carr

Assistant Brand Manager“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”

Debbie Hallgren

Head of Trading Support“The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.”

Angelica Harris

Category Manager“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”

Frank Cahalan

Trading Controller Ireland“We Can & We Will - Let's Make It Happen!”

Piotr Hinzinger

International Sales Manager - Belgium and New Markets“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Laurene Parkin

International Sales Manager - France“People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

Angela Casey

Office Manager“Money, Money, Money must be funny in a rich man’s world” – because I really “work all day to pay the bill I have to pay.”

Jennifer Clarke

Accounts Administrator“Keep Calm and Ukulele on.”

Anne Moore

Payroll Administrator“I spend my life putting money in their wallets.”

Ellen Reid

Commercial Accountant“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way”

Eugene Winters

Assistant Financial Controller“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

Freddie Vernon

Quality Assurance / Technical Manager“……intelligent, innovative, witty, handsome…….and above all else, modest!”

Renato Carvalho

Quality and Technical Coordinator“We live in a world where mediocrity is often rewarded. If you win a race against 10 mediocre people, you are still just mediocre.”

Bronagh McKeown

QA and Technical Coordinator“Always seize the opportunity to learn or try something new.”

Barry McClean

Production Planner“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Philip Reynolds

Engineering Manager“When it does not exist, design it”

Gordon McDonnell

Manufacturing / Quality Coordinator“Yey though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death, I fear no evil because; I have all the ‘Risk Assessments & Safety Policies’ with me.”

Jim Ryan

Production Development Manager“If you keep doing what you are doing you will keep getting what you have got.”

Kresimir Peradinovic

Procurement Manager“Buying is a profound pleasure”

Catherine Mulvihill

Co-Pack Planner“Keeping it lit worldwide.”

Aileen Brown

Transport Co-Coordinator“Shipping all over The World.”

Zip - the Heart of the fire for 80 years...

Zip invented the kerosene firelighter for home use in 1936 and today Zip is the most recongnised, trusted and reliable brand in the ignition sector, now selling on six continents.


Zip invented the kerosene firelighter for home use in 1936 and today Zip is the most recognized, trusted and reliable brand in the ignition sector, now selling on six continents.  Instant lighting and long burning, Zip offers a wide range of powerful fire lighting solutions, such as: clean breaking block firelighters, odourless wrapped firelighters, convenience wrapped firelogs, a natural BBQ range and some ancillary products for use by the Military and Humanitarian organisations.

Standard brands, manufacturers of Zip, prides itself on being a leading Irish manufacturer. The current factory, based in Castlebellingham, Co. Louth, was built in 1956 and employs over 100 people from the local area, many of whom come from a long line of family members who have worked at the site before them. The company also sources 90% of ingredients in Ireland, like the locally grown willow planted and harvested by Irish farmers, pursuing the traditional practice of coppicing. Zip has been warming hearts and homes for 80 years., making firelighting easier and sharing times with family more special.



Company History


Guaranteed Irish Heritage

Standard Brands are proud to make the best firelighters in the world in Castlebellingham, County Louth, Ireland.


Zip firelighters are made by Irish workers for the Irish fires. They are so great, that we now sell them to many countries around the world. At the heart of it, Standard Brands are proud to support the Guaranteed Irish programme. That is why all our Zip Firelighters sold in Ireland have the Guaranteed Irish symbol.

We support our local community by providing over 115 Irish jobs at our production factory in Castlebellingham. We also source as many raw materials as possible from Ireland. This can range from printing of our packaging through to the locally grown and coppiced willow that we use in our Croi na Tine firelogs, Starterlogs and Stove logs.

In recent years Ireland has seen a movement towards buying more locally made Irish products to keep our economy competitive and support Irish companies. More and more consumers are looking to purchase Irish made products and choosing to support our own country. Recent research has indicated that if every household increased their spend on Guaranteed Irish brands by just €4 per week, this would create an additional 6,000 jobs.

Standard Brands are pleased to manufacture and sell Irish productsand support the Guaranteed Irish programme; we are really proud to be Irish!

Mission Statement & Core Values

Our mission is to share our passion and expertise for home fire making.


Our Mission

Our mission is to share our passion and expertise for indoor and outdoor fire making by delivering consistently safe and reliable products that make fire lighting,  barbecuing and cooking as convenient and enjoyable as possible.

Our Commitment

Our business is underpinned by a number of core principles concerning our environment, the way we conduct business and our people. Standard Brands is committed to:

  • Providing our customers with consistent quality, safe and innovative solutions
  • Conducting our business with integrity and professionalism
  • Respecting the local customs and laws in all countries where we operate
  • Protecting the health, safety, personal security and well-being of our people
  • Where possible, working towards utilising sustainable sources and procedures throughout our company

Our Values

  • Customer focused thinking: we aim to be entrepreneurial, innovative and customer-led in our actions and ideas
  • Transparency: we expect openness and integrity in all our transactions
  • Understanding: we strive to understand the needs and goals of our consumers, retailers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders
  • Collaboration: we aim to work in mutually beneficial relationships with our partners and distributors, take responsibility for our actions and support each other in our pursuit of success
  • Profitability: we realise that in all our endeavors we must sustain a business that delivers profitable, cash generative growth
  • Enthusiasm: we love what we do and do it with energy and focus to be the best we can be


Quality Control

At Zip we produce each and every firelighter and log under strict quality standards. That is what sets our products apart from the rest.

Read More

We have had our quality standards in place for over 70 years and we are confident that every firelighter leaving our factory is ready for a consumer to safely light their fire.

From the warehouse workers, production lines through to the Managing Director, each team member takes pride in our quality policies that include on-going vigilance and individual empowerment to maintain our premium quality products. Our employees are encouraged to recognise Potential Quality issues, and regularly propose ideas to improve quality. Our factory is regularly audited on an annual basis and we have won industry awards and recognition for the standards that we set ourselves.

We are proud that our products are of such a high standard that we have a retailer open door policy and encourage our large retail customers and consultants to visit our production site. We are always willing to make changes to improve our products for customers and consumers, and last year we only received 1.18 complaints per million packs sold.

brc-cp-certificated-blackQuality Control ISO 9001In recognition of sustained high levels of quality performance, Standard Brands quality management system continues to be accredited to ISO 9001 and fully BRC certified.

Health & Safety

At Standard Brands each and every employee is important to us and that is why we are committed to creating a safe and healthy working environment.


We take the welfare of our people very seriously and comply with all the relevant occupational regulations and standards, reflecting the very best practice on a continuous basis.

Factory, warehouse and office risk assessments are regularly undertaken to anticipate, minimise and control any occupational hazards. All employees are empowered to identify and highlight health and safety issues proactively and to follow agreed reporting procedures. These are immediately responded to, and actions are taken/reported.

We are proud of the steps that we have taken to produce a safe working environment for all our employees especially as we handle large volumes of flammable liquids. We also monitor employee exposure to fire lighting products/ingredients and ensure that we keep well below legislative requirements. We visibly display our health and safety records at our factory for all to see as well as a reminder of new policies or procedures.

Health and Safety OHSAS 18001Annual independent inspections are carried out by regulated safety representatives. Standard Brands continues to be accredited to OHSAS 18001 standard for Occupational Health and Safety. Twice yearly audits are carried out.


Standard Brands can fulfill all your ignition category requirements through branded and private label products.


Standard Brands can fulfill all your ignition category requirements through branded and private label products.



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South Africa

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All other

Standard Brands (Trading) Ireland Ltd
Co. Louth,
A91 XT59, Ireland

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For more information on stockists, please email

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