Ornua has opened a new €30 million “state-of-the-art” cheese production facility in Avila in central Spain today, Tuesday, November 5, on the site of a former cheese manufacturing site that was destroyed by fire two years ago.
The new 35,000t mozzarella and pizza cheese production site “greatly enhances” Ornua’s pizza cheese making capacity. There are also plans to increase the facility to a capacity of 70,000t.
The opening of the site coincides with the creation of Ornua Ingredients Europe, combining the company’s Spanish and UK ingredients businesses.
The new facility will employ around 120 people, and includes a processing technology upgrade. Ornua says that the Avila site will “play a major role” in the company’s growth strategy.
Among the features of the processing site is a research and development (R&D) “Centre of Excellence” which is “dedicated to developing the next generation of pizza cheese and cheese ingredients for the $130 billion (€117 million) global pizza market”.
The site also features: individual quick-freezing capability; an in-line cooling system; and other technologies for pizza cheese production.
John Jordan, Ornua CEO, said at the opening of the new site: “Today’s opening of our new cheese facility here in Ávila is fully in line with Ornua’s growth strategy of investing in world-class strategic production facilities to secure long-term returns for Irish dairy farmers.”
He added: “This major investment will play a key role in enhancing our cheese ingredients capacity and capabilities.
“It will reinforce our position as a leading, large-scale supplier of high-quality dairy ingredients to many leading Spanish, European and global food manufacturing and food service customers.
“Our new Avila R&D Centre of Excellence becomes the 10th innovation centre in our international network, which will ensure that Ornua has the capability to support our customers at the forefront of the rapidly changing dairy ingredients market,” Jordan concluded.
Meanwhile, Sile Maguire, Ireland’s ambassador to Spain, said: “The new Ornua facility in Avila reflects Irish and Spanish commitment to excellence and innovation in the food industry, and to our shared confidence in this vital sector.”