Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell today officially opened a major new Global Logistics Centre for Lakeland Dairies at its Pritchitts dairy foodservice manufacturing site in Newtownards, Co. Down.
The new Global Logistics Centre was completed recently by Lakeland Dairies following an investment of €10 million which has been supported by Invest Northern Ireland. The investment positions Newtownards as a key strategic site for Lakeland Dairies where its dairy foodservice manufacturing plant provides employment for over 200 people from the local community.
The keynote event was attended by the CEO of Lakeland Dairies, Michael Hanley and the entire Board of the co-operative with Chairman, Alo Duffy. The event forms part of a series of open days where hundreds of farmer milk producers and their families will tour the major new facility over the coming days.
Welcoming the development, Jonathan Bell said: “This new centre, supported by Invest NI, is among the most technically advanced global export facilities in Europe.
“This strategic development by Lakeland Dairies will underpin the long term export potential of dairy products made using locally produced milk sourced directly from Northern Ireland dairy farmers. The new development by Lakeland Dairies includes an overall enhancement of facilities and operations at Newtownards including milk intake and processing systems. I am pleased Invest NI has been able to assist the new centre through the offer of £1.5 million to support these investments.
“The willingness by management and members to invest in this important technology is a clear statement of their intent to drive increasing export growth and to create a sustainable business model that will offer jobs and security throughout the dairy supply chain for many years to come.”
Pritchitts in Newtownards is an innovative dairy foodservice arm of Lakeland Dairies which is a farmer owned dairy co-operative. Lakeland collects over 800,000 litres of milk directly from Northern Ireland dairy farmers each day and over 1 Billion litres of milk north and south each year
Michael Hanley, Group Chief Executive of Lakeland Dairies said: “As a leading dairy processing co-operative, our mission is to create long term sustainability for our milk producers through value-added processing and export led growth. This requires the right economies of scale, the most competitive processing plants in the industry and the achievement of total efficiency across all of our operations. We are very pleased to acknowledge the expertise and support we have received from Invest NI for this flagship development in Newtownards.
“Due to the technologically advanced capability of our plants, we have a constant flexibility to divert milk into the highest value dairy product categories. Our new Global Logistics Centre will give us a further competitive advantage as we continue to serve our customers throughout the world and target new market development opportunities in the interests of our producers.”
Using state-of-the-art technology, the Newtownards site has 12 different production lines making over 100,000 tonnes of dairy products and 700 million individual product units each year. These include ice cream mixes, UHT milk, milk portions, flavoured milks, added value dairy creams, powdered desserts, cappuccino toppings and ice cream powder. The co-operative markets 170 high quality dairy foodservice and food ingredient products to 77 countries worldwide, exporting close to 100% of its entire production capacity to every corner of the globe.
This new development by Lakeland Dairies has included an overall enhancement of facilities and operations at Newtownards including milk intake and processing systems. Invest NI has offered Lakeland Dairies £1.5 million to support these investments.
The new centre is fully automated with new technology, robotic systems, over 14,000 individual pallet spaces and a simultaneous loading capacity for up to 11 forty-foot container vehicles at any one time.