Glanbia’s €15 million research investment important for tillage

Glanbia Ireland’s director of ingredients, Aoife Murphy, told attendees at the Glanbia Ireland Grain Quality Awards – which were held today, February 20 – about some exciting news coming down the tracks.

€15 million will be invested in a research and development facility at Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny.

Kilkenny County Council approved planning permission for the development at the end of November 2019.

Murphy outlined the importance of being able to work with customers in a research environment to develop new products.

Striving to develop new products with premium value grains

Glanbia Ireland is striving to develop new and premium products. At present, 40% of the 205,000t of grain taken in by Glanbia are premium grains such as gluten-free oats, food-grade oats and malting barley.

Gluten-free oats are in demand and are playing an important role in the company’s product development and Glanbia is actively seeking more growers for the crop.

Overall winners of the Glanbia Ireland Grain Awards for 2019 were Ross and Alison Hendy, Cloncrane Farm, Clonbullogue Co Offaly. Pictured are Ross Hendy; Aoife Murphy, Glanbia Ireland director of ingredients; Martin Keane, Glanbia chairman; Alison Hendy; and Agronomist Peter O’Grady. Image source: Finbarr O’Rourke

Glanbia’s ‘Good to go’ porridge was launched at the end of October 2019 and is currently being sold to 2,000 customers each week in Dunnes Stores, Spar and Applegreen, according to Murphy.

Setting Glanbia’s gluten-free oats aside from the rest is the fact that the crop is guaranteed gluten-free from the seedling to the bag of porridge. No mechanical separation takes place.

The product combines both milk and oats from Glanbia’s closed-loop system and will be rolled out further in 2020.

Quinoa production will also be scaled up this year. The gluten-free crop has been trialed for a number of years by Glanbia.

Murphy outlined that consumers are increasingly looking for products that are ‘free-from’; food with a purpose that complements people’s lifestyle and provides health benefits; products with a strong heritage; and products that are sustainable.

The new research and development facility will play a key role in developing these new products and providing a market for crops that pay farmers a premium over feed grains – something that is vital for the future of the tillage sector in this country.