The first milk flowed through Dairygold’s new milk drying facilities at its Castlefarm site in Mitchelstown, Cork, yesterday. 

The new facility accepted its first milk following a 15-month construction and commissioning programme. The new Mitchelstown facility will cater for peak production in line with Dairygold’s tightly forecasted expanded milk volumes. Dairygold milk flow is currently showing a 20% increase over April 2013.

The investment increases the facility’s processing capacity by an additional 5.2 million litres per week with new milk intake bays, a new dairy plant and new evaporation, drying and automated multi bag-off facilities. The Castlefarm investment represents Phase One of Dairygold’s post quota expansion plan. Phase Two of the plan will see work begin in quarter three this year at its brownfield site in Mallow to establish new state-of-the-art milk drying facilities to produce the full range of milk powders up to and including IMF.

Investment from Enterprise Ireland also facilitated the improvement in the energy and environmental performance of the site which boasts one of the country’s largest and most modern Anerobic Digester effluent plants, commissioned in 2012. This waste-to-energy system uses effluent from the site to generate gas to contribute to the site’s energy requirements.

On hand to view the historic occasion was the IFA’s National Dairy Committee. Addressing the IFA delegation, Dairygold Chairman, Bertie O’Leary said; “I’m confident that this new facility represents the first of many positive and exciting developments in Dairygold over the coming years as we deliver our post quota strategy for the benefit of our Farming Members.”