Glanbia milk supply growth expected to be 8.5% in 2019

Glanbia Ireland’s milk supply growth in 2019 is expected to be 8.5%, amid continued growth, with the company making investments to facilitate the extra milk, the processor has confirmed.

Meanwhile, the firm’s stance on new entrants remains under review for the next couple of months.

Milk supply to Glanbia Ireland has grown by over one billion litres since 2014, a spokesperson for Glanbia said, adding that the company has invested €343 million in milk processing assets to cater for the growth in peak milk production.

Investment made includes the announcement at the start of the year for a new continental cheese plant at Belview, in a joint venture with Royal A-ware. Subject to the necessary approvals, this plant is scheduled to come on stream in 2022.

The majority of milk growth this year has come from existing suppliers, with new entrants since milk quota abolition accounting for approximately 5% of 2019 milk supply.

Commenting on this, Glanbia chairman Martin Keane said: “The most recent census of Glanbia Ireland milk suppliers in November 2018 forecast a continued appetite for expansion, with over half of all suppliers expecting to grow their milk volumes.

“In addition to extra peak processing capacity, additional milk volumes also require investment in new routes to market and product development,” the chairman added.

In September, Glanbia received applications from 31 new potential entrants and a further group of new entrants applied in October.

Glanbia Ireland’s policy on new entrants is currently under review by the Glanbia Ireland board. This process is expected to be completed before the start of 2020, the company spokesperson added.

Since the abolition of milk quotas, there have been 219 new entrants to milk production in the Glanbia Ireland (GI) catchment area.

In the same period, approximately 285 farmers have exited milk production, the representative concluded.