24th October 2013, Tuesday
By TheCork.ie Politics Reporter
Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, has announced Government support for Dairygold Co-Operative Society Limited’s (Dairygold) €33 million investment to expand and upgrade its milk processing facilities at Mitchelstown.
This investment has been supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland and will create 100 jobs in the construction, installation and commissioning phases of the new processing facilities.
Dairygold is Ireland’s largest farmer owned business and the country’s second largest dairy processor, processing 950 million litres or 20% of Ireland’s milk pool to produce a range of cheese and dairy ingredients for export to more than 50 countries.
Following the abolition of EU milk quotas in April 2015 Dairygold’s 3,000 milk supplying Members have forecast to increase annual milk production by more than 50% by 2020. This equates to an increase of 500 million litres per annum and requires an expansion in Dairygold’s peak processing capacity.
The investment will establish a new six tonne/hour multi-purpose milk drying facility and a variety of infrastructure and plant enhancements at its Castlefarm site in Mitchelstown, Co Cork. It will increase Dairygold’s overall peak processing capacity and represents the conclusion of phase one of the Society’s Processing Capacity Plan to 2020.
“This €33 million processing expansion is great news for Cork and the wider Munster area,” said Minister Sean Sherlock.
Dairygold Chief Executive Jim Woulfe said,“this is the first phase in our post 2015 expansion programme.”
“This investment is more than processing expansion it also improves the energy saving and environmental performance of our Castlefarm operation and builds on the commissioning of the Anerobic Digester effluent plant we commissioned there in 2012 This new facility will provide multi-product processing capability allowing expansion in the supply of a variety of higher value dairy ingredients including those that complement our ambitions for expansion in the Infant Formulae Sector.
Enterprise Ireland Head of Food Michael Cantwell welcomed the announcement, saying it was “an important element of the investment for both Dairygold and Enterprise Ireland was the huge emphasis on utilising latest technology to provide a more sustainable processing platform, which will result in reduced energy and emissions per litre of milk processed.”
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D. said. “The commitment of the leading dairy co-operatives to investing in the sector is fundamental to realising the 50% growth target in Food Harvest 2020. The Irish dairy sector has the capacity to achieve long-term sustainable growth and added value, drawing on a tradition of family farming and world class research ” .