Irish-based food and dairy company Glanbia has announced that work has started on the construction of a new US$190m cheese and whey products facility in the US, which is being built through a joint venture.

Glanbia recently formed Southwest Cheese Company, a joint venture between Glanbia, Dairy Farmers of America, Select Milk Producers and the other dairy cooperative members of the Greater Southwest Agency. The venture is 50% owned by Glanbia with the balance primarily owned by DFA and Select.

Commissioning of the new facility is expected in the fourth quarter of 2005. Once fully operational, it is anticipated that the new facility, located in Clovis, New Mexico, will generate sales in the region of $350m per annum and will employ approximately 220 staff.