Dairygold invests €33million in processing expansion supported by Dept of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland

23rd October 2013

Another step towards the realisation of Harvest 2020 Dairy Vision

100 temporary construction jobs to be created

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton TD, together with the Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, today (23rd October 2013) announced Government support for Dairygold Co-Operative Society Limited’s (Dairygold) €33 million investment to expand and upgrade its milk processing facilities at Mitchelstown, County Cork.  This investment has been supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.

100 jobs will be created in the construction, installation and commissioning phases of the new processing facilities.

Dairygold is Ireland’s largest farmer owned business and the country’s second largest dairy processor, processing 950 million litres or 20% of Ireland’s milk pool to produce a range of cheese and dairy ingredients for export to more than 50 countries.

Following the abolition of EU milk quotas in April 2015 Dairygold’s 3,000 milk supplying Members have forecast to increase annual milk production by more than 50% by 2020. This equates to an increase of 500 million litres per annum and requires an expansion in Dairygold’s peak processing capacity.

The investment will establish a new six tonne/hour multi-purpose milk drying facility and a variety of infrastructure and plant enhancements at its Castlefarm site in Mitchelstown, Co Cork. It will increase Dairygold’s overall peak processing capacity and represents the conclusion of phase one of the Society’s Processing Capacity Plan to 2020.

When completed the facility will be the Irish Dairy industry’s first post quota infrastructure to become operational with commissioning scheduled for next year’s peak milk season. All produce from its expanded processing capacity will be destined for export markets.

Making the announcement Minister Bruton said: “The food sector is a central part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, and over recent years we have seen substantial growth in exports and jobs in this sector. The targets we have set cannot be achieved withoutinnovative, dynamic Irish companies like Dairygold, companies that represent the future of Irish food exports.  I commend Dairygold on their achievement and wish them every success.”

Minister Sherlock said:  “This €33 million processing expansion is great news for Cork and the wider Munster area. Dairlgold is a highly innovative company and an important employer in the region. Dairgold clearly recognises that innovation is the driving force for future growth and this investment is a clear vote of confidence in the continued growth of the dairy/food sector in Ireland”.

Speaking about the investment, Dairygold Chief Executive Jim Woulfe said; “This is the first phase in our post 2015 expansion programme. This investment is more than processing expansion it also improves the energy saving and environmental performance of our Castlefarm operation and builds on the commissioning of the Anerobic Digester effluent plant we commissioned there in 2012 This new facility will provide multi-product processing capability allowing expansion in the supply of a variety of higher value dairy ingredients including those that complement our ambitions for expansion in the Infant Formulae Sector.

In addition to 100 jobs created in the construction, installation and commissioning phases of the new processing facilities the project will also give rise to sustained employment at the Castlefarm site in Mitchelstown.

Enterprise Ireland Head of Food Michael Cantwell said, “An important element of the investment for both Dairygold and Enterprise Ireland was the huge emphasis on utilising latest technology to provide a more sustainable processing platform, which will result in reduced energy and emissions per litre of milk processed. This is being achieved through a variety of energy efficiency gains and environmental improvements includingheat recovery, and water reduction measures. This sustainability emphasis is something that Enterprise Ireland strongly supports.”