French food giant Danone is to spend EUR50m (US$66.4m) expanding its baby-food business in Ireland.

The owner of the Cow & Gate and Aptamil brands plans to redevelop its manufacturing facility in Macroom, a town near in Cork in south-west Ireland.

The expansion will lead to the creation of a new drying line at the site and treble capacity to 100,000 tonnes each year

According to details of the expansion published today (6 December) by the Irish government, the move will lead to the creation of around 40 jobs in food science, engineering and supply-chain management.

Vincent Maurice, vice president for operations for Danone’s baby nutrition business, said the company’s Macroom and Wexford sites had put in “an outstanding performance over the past number of years”. The moves at Macroom would create a “centre of excellence” for Danone’s production of infant-milk formula, Maurice explained.

He added: “Through this investment, we will deepen the relationships with our strategic partners who have been central to this project coming to fruition. These include Dairygold who will continue to provide raw materials to the new facility.”

Jim Woulfe, chief executive of Irish dairy co-operative Dairygold, said Danone’s decision to supply raw materials from the business was “further confirmation” of the company’s “excellence” in producing dairy ingredients.


“Dairygold is proud to supply a customer of Danone’s global scale, market position and innovative capability and we look forward to growing our business in both infant formula ingredients and other Danone supply requirements,” Woulfe said. “The agreement is very timely for Dairygold coming as the co-op prepares for the expansion of its milk business in line with the forecasts indicted in the Department’s Harvest 2020 report.”

In July, The Irish government, through the Harvest 2020 report, set out plans to grow the country’s food and drinks sector as the former Celtic Tiger looks to revitalise its ailing economy.