The managing director of Irish yoghurt manufacturer Glenisk has pledged to rebuild the business following a devastating fire that destroyed its production plant in County Offaly yesterday.
The facility in Killeigh, which employs close to 90 people, was completely destroyed in the fire. All colleagues that were in the facility at the time of the blaze were safely evacuated, the company confirmed.
Devastated to confirm a serious fire at our plant today. All colleagues safely evacuated. ? Their well-being is our priority. We will assess the damage and move forward. Heartfelt thanks to the Emergency Services. ❤️
— Glenisk (@Glenisk) September 27, 2021
Speaking to RTÉ, Ireland's national broadcaster, MD Gerard Cleary said that the destruction of the plant was "devastating", adding that "basically everything" had been lost.
"We'll just have to see what we have and what we can salvage and then just start again," he commented. "That's all we can do."
Glenisk is one of Ireland's biggest dairy firms and a leading producer of organic milk and yoghurt. The Glenisk brand placed 25th in the recent Checkout Top 100 Brands list of Ireland's most-sold grocery brands, produced in association with Nielsen.
The business had also recently outlined plans to grow its export business, targeting Germany in particular, according to local media reports.
Damaging To Organic Sector
The Irish Farmers Association said that the fire at the Glenisk plant is a 'huge blow' for the organic dairy sector in Ireland.
“The fire could have disastrous consequences for organic milk suppliers. The facility handles the majority of organic milk across the island of Ireland,” IFA Organic Project Team chairman Nigel Renaghan said.
Glenisk sources milk from approximately 50 organic dairy farmers across Ireland and it’s the destination for 90% of organic milk.
“Glenisk suppliers must be safeguarded at this time, and alternative arrangements put in place for the processing of the milk,” he said.
Commenting on Twitter, junior agriculture minister Pippa Hackett, whose responsibility includes the organic farming industry, described it as "devastating news. Thank goodness no one has been hurt. Sending my best wishes to the Cleary family, who have build (sic) this business up from scratch. You will be back."