Glanbia has officially opened its newly-built milk protein facility on the existing GII site in Virginia, Co. Cavan.
It was opened by Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
This expansion of the Virginia facility, which processes milk from surrounding counties, and employs 100 people, is specifically designed to meet the exacting technical standards of the clinical and lifestyle nutrition market, a business which is growing worldwide and is predicted to expand by double digits over the next 10 years, according to Glanbia.
Glanbia Ingredients Ireland is currently investing €200 million in value adding facilities with support from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.
This investment programme, one of the largest ever undertaken by an indigenous company, will facilitate farmers and customers in expanding their businesses, particularly as the elimination of quotas in 2015 provides our dairy farmers with an opportunity to expand production for the first time in 30 years.
Over €7.8 million has been invested in the Virginia plant to build the new milk protein unit, which will more than double current milk protein capacity from 4,000 to 10,000 tonnes.
It is a significant boost for the Virginia facility which will also continue its extensive production of enriched milk powders for export markets as well as exclusive cream supply to the global Baileys brand.
Speaking at the launch, Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said Glanbia is a very important employer locally, and this significant investment illustrates the company’s commitment to the area.
“Glanbia’s innovative approach to targeting key growth markets overseas has allowed it to grow exports and establish itself as one of the major players in the Irish agri-food sector. The agri-food sector is not only a very important source of employment in Cavan and Monaghan, it is also helping to drive our jobs recovery across the country. I am delighted that Glanbia is reaffirming its commitment to the area with this latest multi-million euro investment.”
Jim Bergin, CEO of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, said GII has a strong investment programme of over €200m which is designed to position the business for future growth.
“While we are conscious of current fluctuations in commodity pricing, the long range outlook for the business and for suppliers is positive – with a growing demand from customers for the high quality milk proteins we will be producing here in Virginia.
“The opening of our new plant ensures that both GII and our farmer suppliers will be able to capitalise on the generational opportunity that is provided by the ending of milk quotas next year.”