Minister Richard Bruton today announced that Lakeland Dairies Co-operative Society is beginning a €36m investment in an expansion of milk powder processing operations at Bailieboro, Co. Cavan.
Construction will start immediately and Minister Bruton today turned the first sod for the new development together with Alo Duffy, chairman of Lakeland Dairies and Group chief executive, Michael Hanley. The overall development will lead to the creation of 81 jobs across the Lakeland Dairies Group over a five year period. Up to 180 construction jobs will also be created by contractors during the building, installation and commissioning phases for the new processing facilities.
Welcoming the announcement Minister Bruton said: “Ireland’s food industry offers massive potential for regional employment, which is a major focus of the Government’s 2015 Action Plan for Jobs. The removal of milk quotas later this year offers huge opportunities that we intend to exploit in a planned and strategic way in order to support jobs growth across every region in Ireland.
“Today’s announcement of 81 extra jobs in Bailieboro through a €36m investment, supported by my Department through Enterprise Ireland is a great boost for Cavan and the Border region.”
One of Ireland’s leading farmer-owned dairy processing co-operatives, Lakeland Dairies processes over 800m litres of farm produced milk annually into a wide range of value-added dairy foodservice products and food ingredients which it exports to over 70 countries worldwide. Following the abolition of milk quotas later this year, annual milk supply to Lakeland Dairies is expected to increase by some 40% to over 1 billion litres by 2020. The development by Lakeland Dairies is designed to ensure that the co-operative is well positioned to take advantage of all future market opportunities for its milk producers.
The expansion will see the installation of a new 7 tonne per hour milk drying facility at Bailieboro where total milk powder production capacity will increase to 19 tonnes per hour. Lakeland currently produces 80,000 tonnes of milk powders a year and this will rise to 130,000 tonnes on completion of the project in 2016. The co-operative also produces 24,000 tonnes of butter on the same site which provides for considerable flexibility in milk throughput and overall economies of scale for the food ingredients business.
Lakeland Dairies’ chairman, Alo Duffy said: “When EU milk quotas are abolished this year, Lakeland Dairies’ milk producers will have the freedom to increase milk output in line with continuing and future growth in global demand for dairy products. Lakeland Dairies is focussed on the creation of a bright and sustainable future for our milk producers. This includes investments in modern and streamlined plants which guarantee an expanded milk processing capacity and provide the flexibility to meet global market needs.”