Glanbia growth continues with Government-backed €160 million development
Glanbia Ireland’s Wexford cheese plant was officially re-opened by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed, along with Glanbia Group chairman Henry Corbally, following a major capital investment programme.
The €35 million investment in the facility, just outside Wexford town, has been supported by the Irish Government through Enterprise Ireland since 2014 and has doubled peak capacity at the plant.
As well as increasing Glanbia Ireland’s cheese processing capacity, the Wexford investment will deliver an additional whey stream for the sports nutrition sector, which is one of Glanbia’s key market sectors, according to the company.
This investment will result in new activities at the Belview facility, which was first opened in 2015, and lead to the installation of a new third dryer and other processing equipment – which will produce infant formula products destined for global export markets.
It is expected that the new facility in Belview will be operational by 2020 and this investment will directly result in the creation of 83 new full-time jobs as well as supporting 400 jobs during the two-year construction phase of the project.
There will also be a significant knock-on effect from this investment in the wider economy both regionally and nationwide, and the indirect jobs created from these types of agri-investments are very substantial.
Speaking at the event Minister Creed said: “I’m delighted to be here to mark the official reopening of Glanbia Ireland’s Wexford Cheese Plant.
This investment supported by Enterprise Ireland is another example of the potential of the Irish agri-food sector to create and sustain jobs across the country.
“Combined with today’s announcement on further substantial investment in Glanbia Ireland’s Belview facility it is clear that the future of dairy in Ireland is a very bright one indeed.
“I’d like to congratulate Glanbia Ireland for their continued commitment to supporting the growth ambitions of their suppliers and ensuring that Ireland remains at the forefront of dairy innovation for the global marketplace.”
Commenting on the Belview investment, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said: “The Government’s investment, through Enterprise Ireland, to support Glanbia Ireland’s development of new activities in Belview reflects our belief in the underlying economic contribution of our indigenous dairy industry and in the company’s development plans.
“Glanbia has long been one of Ireland’s great home-grown success stories and, as a company, has been characterised by its successful international growth strategy in key markets and a commitment to innovation and excellence.
This investment demonstrates a real long-term commitment to farming families and the rural economy.
‘Vote of Confidence’
Henry Corbally, Glanbia Group chairman added: “These major investments in Wexford and Belview are a great vote of confidence in Irish dairy and in Irish dairy farmers. Despite volatility in global markets there is growing demand and positive long-term prospects for our products.
“These investments are designed to ensure that Glanbia Ireland’s suppliers have the opportunity to access those markets.”
Commenting on the announcement Orla Battersby, Enterprise Ireland’s Divisional Manager for Food, said: “Enterprise Ireland has worked closely with Glanbia Ireland in developing its investment plans for the future.
“The investments will have very positive impacts for the region, not only in terms of the new direct jobs they will create, but also in the indirect benefits to the local and wider economy”.
Jim Bergin, CEO, Glanbia Ireland concluded: “These latest investments are part of Glanbia’s longstanding commitment to meet the growth ambitions of our milk suppliers.
In recent years, Glanbia Ireland has invested €235 million at the company’s milk processing plants at Virginia, Ballyragget and Belview.
“Between now and 2020 we expect to invest between €250 and €300 million to facilitate an expected 30% growth in milk from Glanbia Ireland’s 4,800 farmer suppliers.”