€140 million continental cheese facility announced for Belview

Global cheese and dairy producer in the Netherlands, Royal A-ware, and Glanbia Ireland, today (Tuesday, January 22) announced plans to enter a strategic partnership that proposes to build a new continental cheese manufacturing facility in Belview, Co. Kilkenny.

It is proposed that a total of €140 million will be invested in the facility. The new facility is scheduled for commissioning in 2022 and will produce continental cheeses in various formats.

Once fully commissioned, the new facility will have a production capacity of 450 million liters of milk per annum.

Approximately 80 full-time jobs will be created at the facility. It is expected that a further 100 temporary jobs will be created during the construction phase.

Milk used in the production process on site will be sourced from local suppliers and the cheese will be marketed and sold to global customers.

Minister’s response

Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, said: “Today’s announcement of international collaboration between Royal A-ware and Glanbia Ireland is welcome news for the south-east region.

“Growing jobs at a regional level is a key focus for Government and with the looming challenge of Brexit, supporting economic growth in our regions through such actions as product diversification, thereby helping to create sustainable and quality jobs, is a huge priority for Government.

“I would like to congratulate Glanbia Ireland for their continued commitment to supporting the growth and development of their suppliers, further leveraging Ireland’s positive international reputation in the dairy sector.”

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said that the agri-food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry supporting over 174,000 jobs across rural Ireland – from farms to food processing.

Investments like this cheese manufacturing facility in Belview are a critical response to the challenges posed by Brexit, in terms of developing new products and new markets.

Jan Anker, chief executive of Royal A-Ware Group, added: “We are proud to announce this partnership with Glanbia Ireland. With this announcement, Royal A-ware is taking another step towards achieving its goals of working with strategic partners to build innovative and sustainable agri-food chains and offering its customers an enhanced product portfolio.

“It also gives our company access to additional volumes of high-quality cheese through a local supply chain,” he said

Diversify

Jim Bergin, chief executive of Glanbia Ireland, explained that the company is delighted to partner with Royal A-ware to build a “world-class” cheese plant in Co. Kilkenny.

“This new partnership will create a new route to market for Glanbia Ireland suppliers’ milk and diversify our portfolio of consumer dairy products and ingredients.

Since 2014 we have invested €343m to facilitate a 42% increase in milk production by Glanbia farmers.

“This proposed new investment is now required to diversify our product mix and to ensure that our suppliers have the opportunity to fulfil their growth ambitions.”

Orla Battersby, head of Food Division at Enterprise Ireland, concluded that Ireland remains “at the forefront” of dairy innovation for the global marketplace and an attractive location for international dairy investments.

The proposed new facility will be located at a greenfield site near to Glanbia Ireland’s infant-nutrition plant at Belview, Co. Kilkenny.

First opened in 2015, the Glanbia infant-nutrition plant at Belview is a manufacturing site for Glanbia Ireland and is currently the subject of a €130 million investment to install a third drier and expand production capacity.