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Glanbia’s new plant will still produce cheese in 2079

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Pictured at the turning of the sod on Glanbia Co-op and A-ware’s €200m continental cheese facility at Belview County Kilkenny are from left; John Murphy Chairman Glanbia Co-op, Jan Anker Chief Executive of Royal A-ware, Jim Bergin Chief Executive of Glanbia Co-op, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Photograph; Patrick Browne.

Pictured at the turning of the sod on Glanbia Co-op and A-ware’s €200m continental cheese facility at Belview County Kilkenny are from left; John Murphy Chairman Glanbia Co-op, Jan Anker Chief Executive of Royal A-ware, Jim Bergin Chief Executive of Glanbia Co-op, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Photograph; Patrick Browne.

22/06/2022. Free to Use Image. Picture at the turning of the sod on Glanbia Co-op and A-ware’s €200 million continental cheese facility at Belview County Kilkenny are from left; Jim Bergin Chief Executive of Glanbia Co-op, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Jan Anker Chief Executive of Royal A-ware. Photograph; Patrick Browne The new facility will be one of the most efficient and sustainable continental cheese production facilities in Europe. It will support the incomes of over 4,500 family farms, and will create over 400 jobs during construction. Once opened, the Kilkenny Cheese Limited facility at Belview will offer high-skill opportunities with 80 jobs. The facility, which is being built by Kilkenny Cheese Ltd, a joint venture between family-owned Dutch dairy producer Royal A-Ware and Glanbia Co-op, will have a footprint of 18,000 square metres. It will produce over 50,000 tonnes of continental cheese per year, which will be brought to market by Royal A-ware through their established channels. The sod-turning was performed by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue. Welcoming the new development project in the south-east, the Tánaiste said: “It’s an honour to be in Belview today to turn the sod on this brand new €200m continental cheese facility. It’s a huge boost for the south-east which has experienced significant and long overdue investment and jobs growth in the past year or two. The UK’s decision to leave the European Union was a seismic event for Ireland’s agrifood sector and the over 163,000 people it employs here. “Our business owners and farmers have risen to every challenge in the past number of years, and there have been many, and have worked incredibly hard to protect jobs and even grow business. I believe this facility is a perfect example of that resilience, that

22/06/2022. Free to Use Image. Picture at the turning of the sod on Glanbia Co-op and A-ware’s €200 million continental cheese facility at Belview County Kilkenny are from left; Jim Bergin Chief Executive of Glanbia Co-op, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Jan Anker Chief Executive of Royal A-ware. Photograph; Patrick Browne The new facility will be one of the most efficient and sustainable continental cheese production facilities in Europe. It will support the incomes of over 4,500 family farms, and will create over 400 jobs during construction. Once opened, the Kilkenny Cheese Limited facility at Belview will offer high-skill opportunities with 80 jobs. The facility, which is being built by Kilkenny Cheese Ltd, a joint venture between family-owned Dutch dairy producer Royal A-Ware and Glanbia Co-op, will have a footprint of 18,000 square metres. It will produce over 50,000 tonnes of continental cheese per year, which will be brought to market by Royal A-ware through their established channels. The sod-turning was performed by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue. Welcoming the new development project in the south-east, the Tánaiste said: “It’s an honour to be in Belview today to turn the sod on this brand new €200m continental cheese facility. It’s a huge boost for the south-east which has experienced significant and long overdue investment and jobs growth in the past year or two. The UK’s decision to leave the European Union was a seismic event for Ireland’s agrifood sector and the over 163,000 people it employs here. “Our business owners and farmers have risen to every challenge in the past number of years, and there have been many, and have worked incredibly hard to protect jobs and even grow business. I believe this facility is a perfect example of that resilience, that

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Pictured at the turning of the sod on Glanbia Co-op and A-ware’s €200m continental cheese facility at Belview County Kilkenny are from left; John Murphy Chairman Glanbia Co-op, Jan Anker Chief Executive of Royal A-ware, Jim Bergin Chief Executive of Glanbia Co-op, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Photograph; Patrick Browne.

Glanbia Co-op’s new cheese plant in Belview, Co Kilkenny, will still be producing cheese in 55 years and during that time will, at an average price for milk, pay €160m to farm families in the south-east every year.

That’s according to Glanbia Co-op CEO Jim Bergin, who was speaking at the turning of the sod at the new site last week.

The joint venture between Glanbia Co-op and Dutch dairy producer Royal A-ware, located just yards from Belview port, will produce continental cheese for global markets when completed in 2024. It will produce over 50,000t of continental cheese per year, including Edam, Gouda and Emmental, which will be marketed by Royal A-ware.

The plant will utilise approximately 450m litres of milk from Glanbia milk suppliers each year and the facility will allow Glanbia process all its own milk. It currently sends some milk for processing to third parties during the peak milk supply months.

“Our Ballyragget plant had a day like this in 1967 — that’s 55 years ago. And it is operating as well today as it operated on its first day,” said Mr Bergin. “By implication, this facility we’re embarking on building now will be here producing cheese in 2079.

“At an average price for milk, it will pay €160m to farm families in the south-east every year and by 2079, it will have paid a total of €8.8bn to the families of our farmers in this region.

“And if we apply the economic multiplier... it will have generated economic activity in this region of €17.6bn.” The plant, he said, is a statement of ambition, hope and security.

Mr Bergin also acknowledged that it had not been an easy road to date and said getting to this point was a testament to Royal A-ware CEO Jan Anker, who said, on days when there were setbacks, “a deal is a deal, what do we have to do next”.

The project, which comes six years after the Brexit referendum in the UK, would help Irish cheese processors diversify away from being so reliant on cheddar cheese exports to the UK.

Mr Bergin said that while he hoped the UK, which takes 17pc of Glanbia’s cheese, would continue to be a key market for Glanbia, the diversification in cheese products through the new plant gives the co-op “enormous diversification options”, should things deteriorate over the coming years.

Sustainable

The project was delayed after objections on environmental grounds and Mr Bergin said Glanbia Co-op had “concentrated on ensuring this facility will be one of the most sustainable cheese factories in the world”.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, who was also at the sod turning, said the project can be “a sustainable development”.

He also reiterated that while Ireland will be doing everything it can to reduce its emissions, that would not mean factories would close or people would have their cars taken off them or be told they have to reduce the size of their herd.

“That’s not going to happen,” he said. “And I think people worry about those things happening.”

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