Taoiseach Enda Kenny was joined by Jobs Minister Richard Bruton and Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to officially open Glanbia Ingredients Ireland’s hi-spec infant formula standard facility. Today’s opening represents a major strategic development for Irish dairy, with the plant at Belview a national flagship for the sector.
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 €400 million 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.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said:
Jobs are growing in every region of the country – although they are growing more rapidly in some regions than in others. The South East is performing strongly, with the fastest rate of jobs growth in the country, but we must do more. At the heart of our Action Plan for Jobs is ensuring that we accelerate jobs growth in every region of the country, and we have put in place a range of measures to deliver on that. Today we are officially opening this world-class dairy facility, part of a €235million investment programme supported by my Department through Enterprise Ireland, which will deliver hundreds of jobs for the South East over the coming years. I wish Jim and the team every success with this project and look forward to working with them over the coming years.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney 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.