From left: Lakeland Dairies chairman Alo Duffy; Heather Humphreys, Irish Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; Michael Hanley, Lakeland Dairies Group CEO; Irish Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.
Irish dairy cooperative Lakeland Dairies has completed a €40 million expansion to its Irish milk powder operations, billing it as ‘one of the largest such plants in Europe’.
Located in Bailieboro, the site will create 85 new jobs across the Lakeland Dairies Group between now and 2018.
This is Lakeland’s third milk drying plant at its Bailieboro processing centre. It will now produce over 160,000 tonnes of milk powders and 50,000 tonnes of butter annually on the same site, which will give it economies of scale for the food ingredients business.
The development is designed to ensure that the cooperative is well positioned to take advantage of future market opportunities for its milk producers.
A seven-tonne-per-hour milk dryer and evaporators have been installed, with total milk powder production capacity increasing to 20 tonnes per hour. Lakeland said the plant has the highest levels of efficiency.
The investment has been supported by the Irish Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and Irish Minister of Agriculture, Michael Creed, attended the official opening.
Mr Creed said: “International markets hold big growth potential for Ireland as a global exporter of high quality dairy food ingredients. With this impressive new facility, Lakeland Dairies will compete strongly in serving its existing longstanding customers and will also access new markets.
“The new plant is a model of innovation and efficiency and is exemplary of the very high standards of food quality and production which our dairy industry is projecting across the world.”
Lakeland Dairies chairman Alo Duffy added: “With this new facility, Lakeland Dairies will compete at the forefront of the global dairy food ingredients industry.
“This development will underpin our further progress in a rapidly-changing world of international trade where we have a heritage of over 120 years in dairy farming and an unstinting commitment to making the most excellent dairy products for all of our customers.”
With 2,400 dairy farmers supplying milk to the co-operative across 15 counties in Ireland and Northern Ireland, Lakeland Dairies now employs over 800 people.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017