Dairygold is to create 115 new jobs thanks to a €117m investment in two new plants in Mallow and Mitchelstown in Cork.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny will lay the foundation stone today for Dairygold’s new milk processing plant in Mallow which is specifically geared towards exploiting the potential offered by the EU’s abolition of milk quotas next year.
Mr Kenny will also officially open a new Irish Dairy Board (IBB) Kerrygold facility at Castlefarm in Mitchelstown.
The two facilities will create more than 115 new jobs – bringing to over 400 the new jobs confirmed for Cork in the space of a week.
The Dairygold investment follows major expansions of dairy processing potential by other leading Irish operators including Kerry Group and Glanbia.
Mr Kenny will be joined by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney at both Cork events.
Dairygold estimates that milk production amongst its 3,000 suppliers will soar by 63.5pc from 941 million litres to 1,539 million litres between 2011 and 2020.
Mr Coveney has stressed that Ireland must exploit to the full the huge potential now within the dairy sector.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity and it is vital that Ireland makes the most of it,” Mr Coveney said.
Dairy exports are already valued at over €3bn.
The National Dairy Council (NDC) said that Ireland faces “historic opportunities” given the abolition of quotas by Brussels in 2015 and the export potential for dairy goods on such markets as Africa, South America and Asia.
THE abolition of milk quotas next year will trigger the greatest level of jobs creation within the Irish agri-food sector for a generation.
And soaring milk production, processing and exports could create up to 15,000 new jobs over the next decade with potential new exports and sales worth up to €1.3bn.
For the first time in over 30 years, dairy farmers will be able to produce milk without the shackles of over-production penalties imposed by Brussels under the quota system.
The NDC said that, together with surging export potential, the sector also faces a continued spiral in demand within domestic and European markets for high-quality dairy goods.
NDC boss, Zoe Kavanagh, said the growth potential facing the dairy sector is exciting both for dairy operators and the national economy.
“Economists estimate that expansion which will follow the abolishment of milk quotas in 2015 could be worth €1.3bn per year to our economy, with the potential to create 15,000 additional jobs, from farm gate to dairy processors and spread throughout the counties,” she said.
“Nurturing and building on the domestic trust and reputation we enjoy is vital in establishing a secure platform at home for the sustainable export-led growth that will allow the benefits of Irish dairy products to reach a wider community of consumers.”