Award-winning Wexford-based yogurt producer, Killowen Farm, has invested €4 million to expand its food business in a move that will create 25 new jobs.

The expansion, which was officially unveiled by the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, today (Thursday, May 5), will enable the business to grow its cream cheese production through the development of a new state-of-the-art production line at Courtnacuddy, Co. Wexford.

Killowen Farm, which is owned by the Dunne family, has grown from a team of 47 and will now employ a workforce of 72 people.

The €4 million investment marks the largest single expansion in the company’s history and has been part-funded by grant support received from Enterprise Ireland.

Wexford food business

The Dunne Family have been producing yogurt under the Killowen Farm brand since 2004 and now exports Irish yogurt to a range of international markets, including Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Image: Killowen Farm facebook

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “Killowen Farm is a real Irish success story, and I am delighted to be here in Courtnacuddy today to unveil its new cream cheese production facility.

“Ireland produces some of the world’s best dairy produce, and Killowen is a fantastic example of a family farm that has moved into food production and stayed within the local community.

“The Dunne family has created a thriving business at the foot of the Blackstairs Mountains in rural Wexford, and I would like to… wish them every success in the future as they continue to grow their business.”

Killowen Farm chief executive, Nicholas Dunne said: “This is a very significant investment for Killowen Farm, which will allow us to create 25 more jobs in the local economy and grow our business by adding higher value to existing local milk supplies.

“We have worked closely with Enterprise Ireland, and other state agencies such as Bord Bia and Teagasc for many years, and we really value our long-term relationships with them.

“This expansion would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the entire team at Killowen Farm, particularly over the past two challenging years, and I want to acknowledge their part in making this business a success. I’d also like to thank our customers for their support, collaboration, and encouragement,” he added.

Financial support

Stephen Creaner, executive director, Enterprise Ireland, said: “It is really important that we celebrate the achievements of innovative Irish entrepreneurs and businesses that are at the heart of communities around the country.

“As part of our new strategy, ‘Leading in a Changing World’, Enterprise Ireland has committed to a number of ambitious targets, which includes delivering growth across all regions, so we are delighted to welcome the 25 new jobs this expansion will create in the southeast.

“Enterprise Ireland has been delighted to support Killowen Farm and the Dunne family on their exciting journey, and we would like to congratulate them on this significant expansion which is a huge milestone for their company,” he added.

Killowen Farm

Killowen Farm makes its yogurt using only milk and live cultures and does not add any preservatives or additives to its product range.

The milk is sourced from the farm’s own herd of 260 dairy cows. As far as possible, the Wexford-based producer uses locally grown fruit in its flavoured yogurt range.

The dairy cows graze the fields near the production facility and walk from the fields into the milking parlour for milking and the fresh milk travels less than 10m through a pipe before it is turned into natural yogurt.

The company sells yogurts under the Killowen Farm brand to major supermarkets and specialist retailers and is also a supplier to Aldi Ireland, Dunnes Stores’ Simply Better range, SuperValu’s Signature Taste range, and Tesco’s Finest range.

The new cream cheese production line enables Killowen to produce cream cheese for Ornua’s ‘Frisch & Cremig’ product which is sold under the Kerrygold brand in Germany.