Proximity to a milk supply of the finest quality is one of Ireland`s core attractions
Access to a quality milk supply, from approximately 1,000 dairy farms in Ireland and Northern Ireland, is a key factor in the success of Abbott Nutrition’s infant formula manufacturing facility in Cootehill, Co. Cavan. The facility processes 500,000 litres of milk per day, as well as ingredients such as whey and lactose, also sourced in Ireland. This secure supply together with Ireland’s reputation as a green, clean environment is of significant strategic importance to Abbott Nutrition.
“Proximity to a milk supply that is of the finest quality and is locally produced in an environment that has changed little over the years is one of Ireland’s core attractions for Abbott’s nutrition operation,” says Alan Magovern, Site Director, Abbott Nutrition, Cootehill.
The Cootehill facility produces an extensive range of products. Under the Similac brand™, Abbott Nutrition in Ireland produces formula for infants; it also produces follow-on formula under the Gain™ brand for infants; and it produces a toddler formula under its Gain Plus™ brand.
The entire production process takes place at the site. Products are blended, pasteurised, dried and packaged in Cootehill for the retail market, in a form suitable for direct human consumption. All of the products from this facility are exported to markets that include Europe, South East Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Canada.
In Ireland, Abbott employs almost 3,000 people across 11 sites with six of these engaged in manufacturing. “Abbott’s presence in Cootehill and at five other manufacturing sites in Ireland is also largely determined by the availability of a highly educated workforce, strong technical expertise and a ‘can do’ attitude among employees. This includes availability of talent at senior management level,” according to Alan Magovern.
The site at Cootehill has benefited from significant investment over the years. As a result, it continues to be state-of-the-art facility and production capacity has grown significantly since it opened in 1975.
With an end to dairy quotas in 2015, Abbott believes Ireland is well placed to contribute quality raw materials for a burgeoning infant milk formula market. “The demand for infant formula and follow-on formula is projected to continue growing globally with population growth as the primary driver of growth in demand. The Irish dairy sector is well positioned to support the infant formula industry not only in Ireland but also world-wide by supplying high quality ingredients to the nutrition sector,” Alan Magovern adds.