Royal A-ware CEO Jan Anker (left) and Glanbia Ireland CEO Jim Bergin shake hands on their new partnership.
Ireland’s largest dairy processor, Glanbia, will build a new cheese factory in Ireland in partnership with Dutch dairy firm Royal A-ware.
The two companies will invest €140 million in the facility in Belview, County Kilkenny – close to an existing infant nutrition plant owned by Glanbia. The facility is scheduled for commissioning in 2022 and will produce continental cheeses in various formats for export.
Royal A-ware, which is based in Almere, already makes a variety of European cheeses including gouda, edam, maasdam and emmental.
The new plant in Ireland will process 450 million litres of milk a year, all sourced from local suppliers. It is expected the investment will create approximately 80 full-time jobs, with a further 100 temporary jobs coming as a result of construction.
Jim Bergin, chief executive of Glanbia Ireland, said: “We are delighted to partner with Royal A-ware, a leading global producer of continental cheeses, to build a world-class cheese plant in the southeast of Ireland. This new partnership will create a new route to market for Glanbia Ireland suppliers’ milk and diversify our portfolio of consumer dairy products and ingredients.
“Since 2014 we have invested €343 million to facilitate a 42% increase in milk production by Glanbia farmers. This proposed new investment is now required to diversify our product mix and to ensure that our suppliers have the opportunity to fulfil their growth ambitions.”
Royal A-ware Group CEO Jan Anker added: “We are proud to announce this partnership with Glanbia Ireland. With this announcement, Royal A-ware is taking another step towards achieving its goals of working with strategic partners to build innovative and sustainable agri-food chains and offering its customers an enhanced product portfolio. It also gives our company access to additional volumes of high-quality cheese through a local supply chain.”
Michael Creed, the Irish government’s minister for agriculture, food and the marine, claimed that the investment was good news for one of the country’s most significant sectors.
“The agri-food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry supporting over 174,000 jobs across rural Ireland, from farms to food processing. Investments like [in] this cheese manufacturing facility in Belview are a critical response to the challenges posed by Brexit, in terms of developing new products and new markets.”
The announcement adds to ongoing investments Glanbia is making in its factories in County Kilkenny – including a €130 million injection into its infant nutrition plant in Belview, which is 5km east of the town of Waterford. That investment will add a third drier and expand the plant’s production capacity.
And in July last year, the company said it would spend another €130 million to build a mozzarella production facility in Portlaoise.
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