Ornua has invested €40m ($42.2m) in a dairy plant in Ireland to support growth in its global Kerrygold butter brand.
The cash has been deployed at the cooperative’s Kerrygold Park facility located in the town of Mitchelstown, County Cork, as the co-op seeks to drive the brand’s sales to €2bn in markets at home and abroad. The development project was launched in March last year and has just been completed, a spokesperson told Just Food.
Dublin-headquartered Ornua said the investment increases production of butter from around 53,000 tonnes a year to 80,000 tonnes, or one million packs a day, and supports exports to the US, where the company claims Kerrygold is the second-most popular dairy brand.
Ornua has added a second butter churn at the Kerrygold Park factory and four new packaging lines, taking the total to ten, the spokesperson confirmed. The site supplies products to 60 markets. The investment includes an undisclosed amount of funding from the government’s Enterprise Ireland development scheme and will expand the workforce by 30 to 180.
The co-op posted revenue last year of €3.4bn, an increase of almost 37% from the previous 12 months, the spokesperson clarified.
Aidan O’Driscoll, Ornua’s chairman, said: “For the past 60 years, Kerrygold has proudly brought the unique taste of Irish grass-fed dairy to the world on behalf of Ornua’s member cooperatives and the 14,000 dairy farming families they represent.
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“We are also passionate about growing the brand’s global status further and focused on safeguarding the value it returns to the Irish dairy sector through the premiumisation of Irish dairy.”
Ornua added that the investment in the Mitchelstown plant will also “strengthen the routes to high-value markets” for the Kerrygold brand.
Jenny Melia, an executive director at Enterprise Ireland, said: “Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting companies like Ornua to increase their level of innovation, improve their competitiveness and expand their global footprint, with the ultimate goal of delivering export growth for Ireland.”