An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD was joined by EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan; Minister Richard Bruton TD; and Minister Simon Coveney TD today to officially open Glanbia Ingredients Ireland’s hi-spec infant formula standard facility.
Formally opening the plant An Taoiseach said: “2015 will be the year of rural recovery because of developments like the one being announced today. This is a very significant day for the country’s dairy sector and for the South East region. This Glanbia facility will allow Ireland to maximise the job potential from increased production following the end of EU milk quotas. It will also provide a boost to the rural economy with the creation of 1,600 direct and indirect jobs and the knock-on benefits for local businesses and communities. As such it is an important strategic development in the Government’s work to secure the recovery.”
With support from the Department of Jobs via Enterprise Ireland, Glanbia Ingredients Ireland’s investment programme of over €235m represents the largest indigenous infrastructure investment made by an Irish company in 80 years, in preparation for the generational opportunity offered by the removal of EU milk quotas at the end of this month. The facility will create employment for 1,600 direct and indirect jobs while contributing an estimated €400m p.a. to the economy. The dairy industry purchases 90% of its inputs from the domestic economy, therefore this will particularly benefit farm families and rural communities.
By 2020, Glanbia’s 4,800 milk suppliers expect to increase milk production by 63%. Currently Glanbia Ingredients Ireland processes 1.8 billion litres of milk or 30% of Ireland’s milk pool into a range of dairy ingredients for export to more than 50 countries.
Ireland’s green credentials provide a differentiated positioning in the global marketplace where our pasture based family farming method of dairying produces a highly sustainable range of quality ingredients. Glanbia Ingredients Ireland has prioritised sustainability as a key focus for its business within its Open Source Sustainability and Quality Assurance code.
The facility will allow for the manufacture of specialised milk powder products and nutritional ingredients to meet the demands of multi-nationals in infant formula and other industries operating in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Central America. All produce from the new facility will be destined for export markets.
EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “Since the Glanbia Group started to scope out this project four years ago New Zealand has grown its milk pool by almost 3.5 billion litres – the equivalent of 65%t of Ireland’s entire output. In the past four years the changes have been dramatic and Europe has had to stand on the side lines while world trade in dairy has grown from 53 billion litres to 65 billion litres. Each year until 2030, at least 150 million people will be entering the middle class, bringing almost 60% of the world’s population into a middle income bracket. In China alone, demand for dairy is set to grow by 43% by 2019. To meet the pace of development, the predicted pace of dairy growth cannot afford to slow. In 23 days’ time Ireland and Europe will be able to enter the fray. After more than 30 years of quota restrictions, our dairying potential is ready to be realised. We have the assets which will enable us to seize the upcoming opportunities on the global marketplace. The key ingredients of a resilient competitive primary sector, a highly innovative agri food industry coupled with a skilled labour force are all on view here today. This facility in Belview coupled with Ballyragget, Wexford and Virginia are seen and will continue to be seen as world class in terms of high-tech and high value added. What has been achieved here is a credit to the foresight of the board led by Liam Herlihy and the excellence of the management team under the direction of Jim Bergin and Siobhan Talbot.”
Minister for Agriculture, the Marine and Food, Simon Coveney TD added: “The Belview project is the largest indigenous infrastructure investment by an Irish company in 80 years. As well as being a hugely positive development for the company, it is a source of tangible economic benefit and optimism for almost 5,000 Glanbia farmer suppliers and for the broader rural community. This flagship investment is a real sign of confidence in the future of Ireland’s dairy sector. The project has been made possible by a decision confirmed during Ireland’s presidency of the European Union in 2013 to abolish dairy quotas, and by the vision outlined in the Food Harvest 2020 strategy. It could not have been delivered without the energy and determination of Glanbia’s management and its suppliers. The Belview project has attracted international attention and has helped to cement the Ireland’s position as a leading player in Global dairy markets. It is a wonderful achievement and I wish all of those involved every success in the future.”