Carbery Group has announced its plans to begin the expansion of its production facility, which represents a €78 million investment at its Ballineen site.
Carbery has received pre-approval for a grant of €5.75 million from Enterprise Ireland.
The remaining €72.25 million for the project is being directly funded by Carbery, through its capital reserves and will be increasing its borrowings to fund the investment.
In a statement, the Dubliner Cheese maker said that the investment will allow the organisation to diversify from its exclusive production of cheddar cheese into an expanded range of new cheese offerings.
This is in response to increased market growth and consumer demand for mozzarella and other cheese varieties in emerging markets, the West Cork based dairy company said.
"Cheese such as mozzarella provide us with a more diversified product range and an opportunity to build a stronger foothold in new and emerging cheese markets such as Asia and the Middle East, while also providing us with a new product range and market opportunities, in sectors such as foodservice,” said Jason Hawkins, chief executive officer, Carbery Group.
The new production facility will have the capacity to process 4 million litres of milk each day.
The construction of the new plant is planned for completion in early 2020.
State Aid Approval
Dairy Industry Ireland (DII), the Ibec group representing Ireland’s dairy processing industry, has recently welcomed the confirmation by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D, that the European Commission has given State Aid approval in DII member Carbery, for product diversification capital investment.
Commenting on the announcement, Conor Mulvihill, director of Dairy Industry Ireland said: “We have worked closely with colleagues in Food Drink Ireland and Ibec central since the referendum with government to push for this type of state aid flexibility from Europe to enable us meet the Brexit challenge head on.”
DII quickly identified the specific exposure of cheddar to Irish industry and finalized a study of various Brexit scenarios in 2017 which was delivered to government.
“Our studies showed a tariff exposure of the region of €155m and also showed we were at risk of losing up to 90% of trade volumes in cheddar to the UK in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit." Mulvihill explained.
“With cheddar forming the vast bulk of our cheese manufacturing base, hovering over 2 billion litres of milk from Irish farmers, it was clear that our member processors would have to engage in radical diversification actions to mitigate this clear threat for their businesses and their farmer suppliers.
“Dairy Industry Ireland will be working to ensure other member processors will be able to avail of these flexibilities in the future."
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.