‘White gold’ flows in Mal­low as Dairy­gold opens €86m plant



THE New Dairy­gold Nutri­tion­als Cam­pus in Mal­low will cre­ate “a real foun­da­tion for the con­tin­ued eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment of the Mal­low and wider Dairy­gold catch­ment re­gion.”

That’s the view of Tá­naiste and Min­is­ter for Busi­ness, En­ter­prise and In­no­va­tion, Frances Fitzger­ald who was speak­ing at the open­ing of the new €86 mil­lion fa­cil­ity.

The Tanaiste was among a large at­ten­dance at the launch last Fri­day, which in­cluded EU Agri­cul­ture Com­mis­sioner Phil Ho­gan, Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Michael Creed, Dairy­gold ex­ec­u­tives and mem­bers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from En­ter­prise Ireland and the lo­cal po­lit­i­cal and busi­ness fields.

A key pil­lar of Dair­gold’s post quota plan to sup­port the growth am­bi­tions of its 2,900 mem­bers, the milk pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity is ca­pa­ble of the full range of nu­tri­tional dairy in­gre­di­ent powders in weekly vol­umes of up to 1,750 tonnes.

The in­vest­ment was made in re­sponse to Dairy­gold mem­bers who in 2012 pre­dicted an in­crease in their milk pro­duc­tion post quota of 60% by the year 2020.

Dairy­gold chief ex­ec­u­tive Jim Woulfe said that that goal was al­ready be­com­ing a re­al­ity three years ahead of sched­ule, with milk vol­umes from their sup­pli­ers ex­pected to ex­ceed 1.3 bil­lion litres this year -a 55% in­crease on the base­line milk sup­ply vol­ume.

This year alone, milk sup­plies are fore­casted to be up by 105 mil­lion litres on 2016, with this in­crease alone worth an ad­di­tional €39 mil­lion for the So­ci­ety’s dairy farm­ers.

Mr Woulfe said the new fa­cil­ity “de­liv­ered on the twin ob­jec­tives of Dair­gold’s ex­pan­sion plan”.

“This world-class cam­pus not only caters for our mem­bers’ ex­pand­ing milk pro­duc­tion but it also puts in place the pro­cess­ing tech­nol­ogy to ex­pand our range of higher value in­gre­di­ents for the adult and in­fant nutri­tion­als sec­tor. This in turn cre­ates more value add for our in­creas­ing milk vol­umes,” said Mr Woulfe.

“This cam­pus will be at the fore­front of our nutri­tion­als growth agenda with fur­ther in­vest­ment planned in the near fu­ture,” he pledged.

With post quota ex­pan­sion see­ing the cre­ation of 112 jobs within Dair­gold, Mr Wolfe said the re­gen­er­a­tion of the Mal­low site had also had a pos­i­tive im­pact on lo­cal em­ploy­ment, with 800 peo­ple em­ployed through di­rect and in­di­rect jobs linked to the project.

“It has also had in­di­rect eco­nomic ben­e­fits al­low­ing Dairy­gold sup­pli­ers ex­pand their milkc pro­duc­tion with the cre­ation of ad­di­tional jobs in farm­ing and in­crease in ac­tiv­ity for busi­nesses that sup­ply goods to Dairy­gold,” he said.

The Tá­naiste said Dairy­gold’s com­mit­ment to its growth and ex­pan­sion rep­re­sented the “vigour and am­bi­tion” of Ir­ish com­pa­nies to per­form and com­pete on a global stage.

A point en­hanced by Com­mis­sioner Ho­gan who said the in­vest­ment rep­re­sented a sig­nif­i­cant step to­wards Dair­gold ce­ment­ing its po­si­tion as a lead­ing sup­pli­ers of cheese and dairy in­gre­di­ents.

Ir­ish com­pa­nies such as Dairy­gold set the standard for Ir­ish food ex­ports and this in­vest­ment in the re­gen­er­a­tion of Mal­low’s his­toric dairy pro­cess­ing site shows a com­mit­ment to con­tin­u­ing those high stan­dards, while cre­at­ing jobs and growth in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

Min­is­ter Creed praised the Dairy­gold board for their pro-ac­tive ap­proach to the abo­li­tion of quo­tas, point­ing out that plan­ning com­menced well in ad­vance of their 2015 re­moval.

“It was this fore­sight and their con­sul­ta­tion with their am­bi­tious milk sup­pli­ers that al­lowed the plan to be put in place so that this fa­cil­ity and the oth­ers in Mitchel­stown and Mo­geely can be here to­day to fa­cil­i­tate dairy farm­ers across Munster to re­alise their own farm ex­pan­sion plans,” he said.

Photo by Daragh McSweeney/Pro­vi­sion.

Dairy­gold chief ex­ec­u­tive Jim Woulfe ex­plain­ing the work­ings of the new €86 mil­lion Nutri­tion­als Cam­pus in Mal­low to Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter, Michael Creed, Tániste Frances Fitzger­ald and EU Com­mis­sioner Phil Ho­gan.

Cork County Mayor, De­clan Hur­ley; Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter, Michael Creed; An Tá­naiste, Frances Fitzger­ald; EU Com­mis­sioner and Dairy­gold Mal­low CEO Jim Woulfe pic­tured at the open­ing.

Sean McSweeney (Di­rec­tor Dairy­gold Lis­sarda), Sean McAuliffe (North Cork Co-op), Sea­mus O’Ma­hony (Agri Sales Dairy­gold Mal­low), and De­clan O’Ke­effe (CEO Bo­her­bue Co-op).

Anne O’ Ma­hony, Car­rig­navar; Ann Fog­a­rty, Mitchel­stown and Deirdre O’ Leary, Ennis, pic­tured at the open­ing in Mal­low.

John McDon­nell (Mal­low De­vel­op­ment Part­ner­ship), John Cooney (SIPTU) and Jim Kennedy (union chair­man, Dairy­gold, Mal­low).

Lo­cal County Coun­cil­lors Gearóid Mur­phy and Melissa Mul­lane with John O’Dell, ex­ec­u­tive en­gi­neer, Cork County Coun­cil.

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