Taoiseach Enda Kenny has unveiled details of Government support for Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Limited (GIIL) which the company announced will create over 1600 direct and indirect jobs and contribute an estimated €400 million pa to the economy – with particular benefit to farm families and rural communities. Through Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation will part-fund the development of a world-class dairy facility in Belview, on the Kilkenny/Waterford border.
GIIL is Ireland’s leading dairy ingredients company – processing 1.6 billion litres of milk or 30% of Ireland’s milk pool into a range of dairy ingredients for export to more than 50 countries. All produce from the new facility will be destined for export markets. Construction is set to commence on 17 May and the new facility is expected to begin production in Spring 2015.
The scale and scope of Belview is extremely ambitious. As the dairy industry purchases 90% of its inputs from the domestic economy, there will be a maximum impact on the income of farm families – boosting the rural economy and the local industries that will service on-farm expansion.
GIIL enjoys strong commercial relationships, including contract manufacturing with eight other Irish dairy processors. This new scalable facility will provide platforms for further collaboration in the industry.
Welcoming the announcement Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “The Government is delighted to support GIIL’s significant investment in the Irish dairy industry as it represents a massive vote of confidence in Ireland and our agri-food sector. Glanbia is one of Ireland’s great home-grown success stories and their investment in the South East region will be welcomed by rural communities and farmers. Creating new jobs remains the top priority for Government and today GIIL is announcing that it will generate over 1,600 direct and indirect jobs by 2018 and an additional 450 during the construction phase. It is the largest single dairy investment in the history of the State and will contribute greatly to Ireland’s export-led recovery.”
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD said: “It is companies like Glanbia – innovative, dynamic, flexible indigenous Irish companies – that represent the future of Irish exports, and sustainable Irish jobs. Supporting the indigenous export sector is high on the agenda for my Department and for Ireland’s Embassy network. As Chair of the Export Trade Council, which brings together all the relevant Departments and agencies, as well as representatives from IBEC, the Irish Exporters Association and individual Irish companies, ensuring a coordinated and coherent approach to promoting Ireland in our key markets overseas is one of my key priorities”.
Describing the support of Enterprise Ireland as of”major strategic significance” the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Employment, Richard Bruton TD said: ‘Growing our food exports is a central part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. Today’s announcement by GIIL that it will, with support from the Department of Jobs through Enterprise Ireland, create 1600 direct and indirect jobs as well as 450 construction jobs with a new facility in the South East producing exclusively for export markets is ground-breaking. This is a model of what we are trying achieve through our plan – an Irish company investing in a world-leading facility to produce for export markets and creating large numbers of jobs in a rural area. I commend Enterprise Ireland and GIIL on this achievement and wish them every success with their endeavour”.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD stated: “Today’s announcement by GIIL is a milestone in realising the tremendous potential for dairy expansion which is a cornerstone of the Food Harvest 2020 strategy. A vision for the sector is being delivered by industry and is being supported by coherent Government action to improve efficiency and reduce on farm costs, to demonstrate Ireland’s sustainable production systems, to provide critical assistance to develop new products that will add value to top class Irish raw materials, and to improve competitiveness at processing level”.
Welcoming the Government’s announcement CEO of GIIL, Jim Bergin said: ‘The Belview facility is a significant, strategic development for our business. Most of all it reflects our confidence in, and commitment to our 4,300 milk suppliers. By providing this additional processing capacity we will be facilitating milk suppliers in their ambition to avail of the opportunity presented by quota abolition post 2015. We are very pleased that through Enterprise Ireland, the Government is acknowledging the economic contribution of the Belview project. It will contribute €400M per annum to the local economies of 16 surrounding counties and demonstrates a real long-term commitment to farm families and the rural economy. The Belview plant will be entirely focused on export markets and will supply a range of nutritional powders to an increasing number of regions including the Middle East, Africa, Central America and Asia. ‘
Frank Ryan, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said:‘Today’s announcement will further secure Ireland’s standing as a world-leader in the dairy industry. Food is Ireland’s number one export sector and critically important to our economy and export-led growth. Enterprise Ireland is delighted to support this significant investment and looks forward to working with GIIL as they embark on this ambitious expansion and grow and develop their international sales – sustaining and creating jobs in Ireland’.
The support of Enterprise Ireland will allow GIIL to target value-added markets; further invest in technology and innovation; build organisational capability, significantly enhance sustainability and accelerate the company’s expansion plans with its 4,300 milk suppliers. GIIL is working in partnership with its suppliers on a range of programmes to prepare for expansion, including index-linked milk pricing, volatility management tools, a sustainability programme and financial training.