Irish dairy cooperative Ornua has announced plans to upgrade its Hilbert, Wisconsin cheese ingredients operation following a $10 million investment.
The owner of the Kerrygold brand claims the expansion will add an extra 22,000 square-feet of warehousing and cooling infrastructure to its US cheese plant, which will increase its production capacity by 30%.
Ornua’s latest announcement marks a major expansion of its Ingredients North America division which reportedly witnessed double digit growth in 2019. It also brings the company’s total investment in its Wisconsin plant to $23 million.
With 80 years of experience, Ornua Ingredients North America formulates and manufactures pasteurised processed cheese products. It offers functional and nutritional cheese-based ingredient solutions for applications in categories such as meat, frozen meals and pizza cheese to US food manufacturing and foodservice customers.
As well as its Wisconsin plant, the US ingredients division operates another cheese-making facility in Byron, Minnesota.
“Ornua Ingredients North America have had great success in partnering with blue chip customers, delivering innovative cheese solutions and as these customers grow their business, we are creating additional capacity to serve them,” said Bernard Condon, managing director of Ornua Ingredients.
He continued: “This latest round of investment is consistent with the investments made since Ornua acquired Thiel Cheese and it is a business that will see further investment over the coming years. Hilbert is a core component of Ornua Ingredients North America’s ability to create value on behalf of our coop members and generations of Irish dairy farming families.”
Rick Pedersen, president of Ornua Ingredients North America, added: “The capacity and flexibility enabled by this latest investment will allow us to deliver the scale and breadth of product portfolio required to maintain our position as the leading partner in our customers’ ambitious growth plans.”
Construction of the site’s new infrastructure is expected to be completed in February 2021.
Last year, Ornua opened a €30 million mozzarella and pizza cheese production facility in Ávila, Spain, marking the creation of the division Ornua Ingredients Europe.
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