The Irish Dairy Board (IDB) is to invest EUR10.5m (US$13.8m) in new facilities in Dusseldorf, Germany in a bid to drive growth in the country post milk quotas.

The IDB said yesterday (4 September) the investment in Dusseldorf is a “key part” of its strategy to grow the market for Irish dairy produce in the run up to the abolition of EU milk quotas in 2015. The capital expenditure will fund extended storage, packing, state of the art production facilities and new product development.

IDB CEO Kevin Lane said Germany has been its “most successful” export market, with turnover in the country set to surpass EUR280m in 2013 – a “record performance” for the co-op.

“The investment we are announcing today is strategically very important for the IDB. Our base here allows us to further expand our business in Germany and throughout this region,” Lane said. “This expansion is good news for our consumers, for IDB Deutschland, for our employees and for Irish dairy farmers, who will have a bigger market for their quality milk. In the run up to 2015 and beyond, core established markets such as Germany, as well as new emerging markets, will be very important for the Irish dairy industry.”

The IDB employs 110 staff in Germany and this week celebrated 40 years in the market. Its Kerrygold butter is Germany’s number one butter brand, IDB said, with a 17% market share and over a 50% branded share.

It sells close to 200 million packs of butter in over 23,000 outlets each year – enough butter to stretch from Dublin to Berlin, 14 times. The iconic Irish brand was first launched in just a handful of stores in Germany in 1973 – the year in which Ireland joined Europe’s Common Market.