Global nutrition company Glanbia has reopened its Wexford cheese plant, following a €35 million investment.
Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine Michael Creed TD, along with Glanbia group chairman Henry Corbally, officially opened the facility yesterday.
The facility supplies cheese to a number of global food companies and also makes the ‘Wexford’ branded cheese range, available in Ireland and in several overseas markets.
The investment has been supported by the Irish Government through Enterprise Ireland since 2014 and has doubled peak capacity, according to the company.
In addition to increasing Glanbia Ireland’s cheese processing capability, the Wexford investment will deliver an additional whey stream for the sports nutrition sector, which is one of Glanbia’s key market growth sectors.
“This investment supported by Enterprise Ireland is another example of the potential of the Irish agri-food sector to create and sustain jobs across the country,” said Minister Creed at the event.
Enterprise Ireland will further support the company plans to invest over €160 million in its site at Belview, Co Kilkenny, which is expected to be operational by 2020.
This investment will result in new activities at the Belview facility, which was first opened in 2015 and lead to the installation of a new third dryer and other processing equipment which will produce infant formula products destined for global export markets, according to the company.
It will result directly in creating 83 new full-time jobs in addition to supporting 400 jobs during the two-year construction phase of the project, the company said.
There will also be a significant knock-on effect from this investment in the wider economy both regionally and nationwide, and the indirect jobs created from these types of agri-investments are very substantial, according to Glanbia.
Volatile Global Market
“These latest investments are part of Glanbia’s longstanding commitment to meet the growth ambitions of our milk suppliers,” said Jim Bergin, CEO, Glanbia Ireland. “In recent years, Glanbia Ireland has invested €235m at the company’s milk processing plants at Virginia (Co Cavan), Ballyragget and Belview (Co Kilkenny).”
“Between now and 2020 we expect to invest between €250 and €300 million to facilitate an expected 30% growth in milk from Glanbia Ireland’s 4,800 farmer suppliers,” Bergin continued. “This level of investment is also required to diversify the product mix we can offer customers to help navigate the unprecedented level of volatility in the global marketplace.”
Henry Corbally, Glanbia Group Chairman added: “These major investments in Wexford and Belview are a great vote of confidence in Irish dairy and in Irish dairy farmers. Despite volatility in global markets there is growing demand and positive long-term prospects for our products. These investments are designed to ensure that Glanbia Ireland’s suppliers have the opportunity to access those markets.”
The food group’s shares dropped by 5.47% after it published its annual results recently, despite recording a revenue growht of over 9%. The group warned at the time that higher milk prices and planned investments will have adverse effects on its performance for the first half of 2018.
© 2018 - Checkout Magazine by Kevin Duggan