Irish dairy firm Ornua has invested €40 million in Kerrygold Park, its flagship butter production facility in Mitchelstown, Cork.
Aidan O’Driscoll, Ornua co-operative chair said, "For the past 60 years, Kerrygold has proudly brought the unique taste of Irish grass-fed dairy to the world on behalf of Ornua’s member co-operatives and the 14,000 dairy farming families they represent.[...]
"We are also passionate about growing the brand’s global status further and focused on safeguarding the value it returns to the Irish dairy sector through the premiumisation of Irish dairy. Our strategic development of Kerrygold Park is central to this ambition and will support the next phase of growth for Kerrygold on its journey to become Ireland’s first €2 billion food brand."
The butter production facility at Kerrygold Park features state-of-the-art processing technology and infrastructure, the company said, including two butter churns and 10 packing lines for a range of over 50 different product formats.
Ornua's investment in the facility has boosted Kerrygold Park’s total cream processing capacity by up to 80,000 tonnes of butter per year, which equates to over one million packs per day.
The investment in Kerrygold Park, which has received funding support from Enterprise Ireland, has enabled the dairy group to expand direct employment at the facility by 20%, creating 30 new jobs.
The upgraded facility at the Mitchelstown plant was officially inaugurated by the minister for agriculture, food and the marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, and minister for enterprise, trade and employment Simon Coveney TD, who were joined by Enterprise Ireland executive director, Jenny Melia, and Ornua co-operative chair, Aidan O’Driscoll.
'World-Leading Processing Capabilities'
Minister McConalogue said, "This strategic investment, which was partly financed by the government’s capital investment scheme for the agri-food processing sector, will help to ensure Kerrygold has the world-leading processing capabilities needed to continue to grow the brand and generate value for the community of Irish dairy farming families which it represents."
Elsewhere, Minister Coveney added, "The global growth of the Kerrygold brand demonstrates the vitality of Ireland’s agri-food sector and dairy industry ecosystem. Critically, the brand supports the lives and livelihoods of hard-working Irish farming families throughout rural communities.
"Ornua’s investment in growing Kerrygold Park, which we are pleased to support through the capital investment scheme, will further strengthen routes to high-value markets for Irish dairy, while directly supporting incomes that form part of our vital rural economy."