The founder and chairman of Finnebrogue Artisan Denis Lynn has died suddenly.
UTV understands the businessman was killed in a quad bike accident.
Mr Lynn formed the leading artisan food producing company in Downpatrick in 1985.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the company said Mr Lynn was 'their innovator and visionary'.
"Our thoughts are with Denis’s wife Christine, his children Kerry, Clare, Tara and Ciara and the entire family at this incredibly difficult time.
"Denis was an innovator and a visionary with an infectious passion for delivering positive change for the planet and its people. He leaves behind an extraordinary list of achievements.
"Denis also leaves behind Finnebrogue and a vision for its future. Finnebrogue was his creation. It now falls on all of us – the Finnebrogue family – to continue his outstanding work."
An email account has been set up by the Finnebrogue team for the public to send in their memories and condolences.