Glenisk faces an uncertain future after a fire destroyed its manufacturing facility in Co Offaly, Vincent Cleary, its managing director has said.
It is believed that a fire broke out at approximately 11am at the factory at Killeigh, Tullamore yesterday morning and all 50 staff were immediately evacuated.
Following the sad news, Gardaí in Tullamore confirmed that no one was injured.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Cleary said that the fire started in the yoghurt production facility and spread quickly.
Cleary said the factory was "pretty much a burnt out shell this morning".
He said "yesterday was a shock, during the night there was tears" but he said he would "regroup" with staff this morning and find a way forward.
Plan In Place
Cleary said that this morning the company will "have a plan in place...we need to get back on the shelves as quickly as we possibly can".
He said that many of the staff are with the company over 20 years and that he has a responsibility to them and will continue to provide "gainful employment".
According to RTÉ, Cleary said he has invited all line managers to come in this morning, to make lists and start talking to fabricators and machine builders to get the company operational as soon as possible.
He said he is humbled by the support of his competitors, who have reached out to offer the use of their facilities.
Cleary said that there is no concern about the production of goats milk and that tankers will still be collecting milk this morning.
He said "even if we have to take a financial hit by diverting elsewhere for the time being to make sure farmers aren't impacted unduly" the milk production will go on.
Glenisk remains the number-one brand in its category and secured the number-25 position in Checkout’s Top 100 Brands.
The Co Offaly producer of premium and organic Irish milk and yogurt has maintained its position as the number-one brand in the Yogurt, Yogurt Drinks and Fromage Frais category since 2019.
For over 30 years, Glenisk has been, and remains, a brand that consumers trust when it comes to health, quality, taste, and innovation.
Today, Glenisk employs 80 people and produces over 120 million servings of yogurt per year for the domestic and export markets. Innovation has been at the forefront of the business in 2021, including sustainability commitments and new-product development.
Glenisk recently introduced new climate-neutral pots across its range of organic yogurts, removing all plastic and replacing it with 100% renewable materials.
For three decades, the Cleary family has been producing yogurt in Killeigh, Co Offaly, beside the farm where founder Jack and his wife Mary raised 14 children.
According to its website, 'several of the children are at the heart of the business today, ensuring that Glenisk, regardless of how much it grows, remains faithful and true to Jack’s vision of producing delicious, nutritious and ethical products in Ireland.'
The family-run business sources milk from approximately 50 organic dairy farmers across Ireland and it is the destination for 90% of organic milk.
In February last year, the company announced that it had partnered with Self-Help Africa on a new local to global campaign which resulted in the planting of one million trees throughout 2020.
The move saw saw one million trees being planted in Africa and 100,000 in Ireland.
In 2021, Glenisk said it will plant another one million trees in Ireland and Africa, in a bid to combat climate change by sequestering carbon.
As part of Glenisk’s charitable and sustainability efforts, the initiative will see 10 trees planted in Africa for every native tree planted in Ireland through the campaign.
The yogurt maker said that, in a bid to reduce the rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the coming together of Glenisk and Self-Help Africa will result in a total of one million trees planted in Sub-Saharan Africa and 100,000 planted in Ireland.