Glanbia Ireland plan to create 80 jobs in new €140 million Kilkenny facility

Photo Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
Photo Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Glanbia Ireland plan to create 80 jobs in a new €140 million manufacturing facility in Belview, Co Kilkenny.

Glanbia Ireland and Royal A-Ware, a leading global cheese and dairy producer in the Netherlands announced plans to enter a strategic partnership that proposes to build a new continental cheese manufacturing facility.

It is proposed that a total of €140 million will be invested in this best-in-class facility. The new facility is scheduled for commissioning in 2022 and will produce continental cheeses in various formats.

Once fully commissioned, the new facility will have a production capacity of 450 million litres of milk per annum. Approximately 80 full time jobs will be created at the facility.

It is also expected that a further 100 temporary jobs will be created during the construction phase.

Milk used in the production process on site will be sourced from local suppliers and the cheese will be marketed and sold to global customers.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said the announcement was welcome news for the south east region

“Growing jobs at a regional level is a key focus for government and with the looming challenge of Brexit, supporting economic growth in our regions through such actions as product diversification, thereby helping to create sustainable and quality jobs, is a huge priority for Government,” she said. 

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Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed added that: “Investments like this cheese manufacturing facility in Belview are a critical response to the challenges posed by Brexit, in terms of developing new products and new markets.”

Jim Bergin, Chief Executive of Glanbia Ireland said that the proposed new investment is required to diversify our product mix and to ensure that our suppliers have the opportunity to fulfil their growth ambitions.

The proposed new facility will be located at a greenfield site near to Glanbia Ireland’s infant nutrition plant at Belview, Co Kilkenny.

ICMSA President, Pat McCormack, said that the announcement was significant and marked a strategic decision on Glanbia’s part to diversify its product range into new cheese products aimed at continental customers and away from our traditional trade with UK customers.

 “On the face of it, this is a recognition that whatever happens with Brexit – and our anxieties about it are very well known – that operations like Glanbia with a massive export business will have to look past our traditional markets and products and really actively look at new markets, greater concentration on continental markets, and developing the products preferred by those markets”,  said Mr McCormack.

He added that while the differences of opinion it has had with Glanbia due to the method it devises its milk price is "no secret", it respects the new venture with Royal A-Ware and hopes that it will deliver for farmers.

"It’s no secret that we’ve had several differences of opinion with Glanbia about the way they arrive at farmer milk price, particularly when their price drifts below current per litre based on the Ornua PPI – as is the case right now.  

"But we do respect their commercial strategic sense and obviously wish them well in their venture with Royal A-Ware, while reminding them to always remember whose work it is that they’re ultimately building this €140 million facility on.

 "Farmer-suppliers will judge this investment on the basis of whether it does, or does not, return a stronger milk price to them and they’re absolutely correct to judge it on that basis”, said Mr McCormack.  

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