Dale Farm Announces Investment Of £70m In Cheddar Processing Facility

By Dayeeta Das
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Dale Farm Announces Investment Of £70m In Cheddar Processing Facility

Northern Irish dairy cooperative Dale Farm is investing £70 million (€81.5 million) in expanding its cheddar processing facility at Dunmanbridge, Co. Tyrone.

The investment will see the agri-food company integrate state-of-the-art technologies and equipment at the site to boost production and place it as one of the leading cheddar manufacturers in Europe, Dale Farm said in a statement.

Dale Farm has seen successive years of growth and the project will help the cooperative meet increasing consumer demands across the UK, Europe and beyond.

Nick Whelan, group chief executive at Dale Farm stated, “Dale Farm has built a strong reputation as a leader in cheddar production, and thanks to our reputation for quality, sustainability and consistency, we are seeing strong customer growth in the category.

“Key to our success is the dedication and ingenuity demonstrated on a daily basis by our team right across the business. We are already exporting to 40 countries, and with this investment, we want to build on that momentum and future-proof our operation at Dunmanbridge for decades to come.”


Expansion Project

The dairy cooperative has commenced the expansion project in Dunmanbridge and it is on track to begin operations in February 2025.

The project includes upgrading and replacing existing site-wide services and utilities as well as installation of a new high-speed automated cheese slicing line, an increased warehouse footprint and investment in new patented products and processes.

Cheese production at the site is expected to increase by 20,000 tonnes per year.

'A Global Leader'

Whelan added, “We want to continue to lead the sector in Northern Ireland and beyond and cement our region as a global leader in quality, sustainability, and innovation. We have been granted a patent for cheddar produced at the site and are on-boarding new technologies and digital transformation.


“We’re also investing in sustainability and as a result of this expansion our carbon footprint will see a significant reduction, marking another important milestone on our journey towards net zero.”

Currently, the Dunmanbridge site supports over 1,100 families in the local area, with 345 employed at the facility. In addition, out of Dale Farm’s 1280 milk producers, 760 farms supply milk to the facility.

Whelan said, “This investment will be transformative not just for Dale Farm, but for the Northern Ireland rural economy. We have big plans for the future and are looking forward to the next step of this journey.”

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