Kerrygold Park opens in Cork town as dairies drive towards €1bn of butter sales
A new dairy production facility has been opened as part of a drive to boost Kerrygold's global sales to €1bn a year.
Ireland's largest dairy producer, Ornua, has opened the new €38m facility in Michelstown in Co Cork, which will be known as Kerrygold Park.
The new production site, pictured, will initially employ 65 people and has been built with the capacity to produce up to 50,000 tonnes of butter a year.
Kerrygold's most recent accounts showed revenues of €750m, and the company hopes that the new Michelstown site will help grow that number to €1bn.
Kerrygold Park will also house the 'Green to Gold' Customer Innovation Centre, which will host international customer visits to Ireland.
"Kerrygold Park is core to our ambitious plans to develop the Kerrygold brand from a butter brand to a dairy brand. Not only will the new facility significantly enhance our production, it also greatly improves our innovation capability and our ability to deliver premium dairy products to consumers around the world," said Ornua chief executuve Kevin Lane.
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said Ornua had played an important role opening new markets for Irish produce. "Ireland's targets for the development of the sector under Food Wise 2025, and beyond, require that we identify valuable routes to market and mechanisms to add value to Irish dairy products," he said.
"By opening new markets and developing new products, Ornua is playing a key role in delivering the demand for Irish product to meet increased supply resulting from the abolition of milk quotas. The opening of Kerrygold Park is a major vote of confidence in the future of the Irish dairy industry," the minister said.
Ornua purchased 286,000 metric tonnes of dairy products in Ireland in 2015, up 16pc on the previous year, and this figure is expected to increase by around 30pc in 2016. Ornua, formerly the Irish Dairy Board, is owned by a group including the main agricultural cooperatives, who use it to collectively market Irish butter.
Earlier this month Ornua, in a world first, used cutting edge Blockchain technology in a trade finance deal used to guarantee shipment of almost €90,000 of Irish cheese and butter to the Seychelles.