Lakelands begin work on €36m drier

Lakeland Dairies is a cross-border co-operative.
Lakeland Dairies is a cross-border co-operative.
Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

Construction has commenced on Lakeland Dairies new €36m drier at its Bailieborough site in Cavan.

Foundations started going in for the 7t/hr drier that will be designed to manufacture all types of powders, including infant milk formula base. It will be able to process 1.7 million litres a day, according to the co-op's CEO, Michael Hanley.

Despite the current dairy market slump, Mr Hanley also confirmed that the processor is planning to increase its milk-stick output by at least 50pc, following the success of the product during it first year of sales.

McDonalds and British Airways are among the large blue-chip customers that the company has secured for the product since the €5m investment in two packing machines in its Killeshandra plant in 2014.

"Market returns are poor at the moment and I'd say that prices are going to remain under pressure for the next four to six months," Mr Hanley conceded.

However, he still expects his supply base to increase to 800 million litres over the coming years. In the last 12 months, the northern processor has taken on an additional 60 million litres of milk from up to 80 suppliers in Northern Ireland.

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