Dairy co-op Lac Pa­trick braced for brexit with its new £30m Co Ty­rone in­gre­di­ents cen­tre

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY COLM KELPIE

LAC PA­TRICK is ready to meet the chal­lenges of a hard Brexit, its boss Gabriel D’arcy has said, as the dairy co-op­er­a­tive un­veiled a new £30m op­er­a­tion in Co Ty­rone.

The new fa­cil­ity will al­low the com­pany — which col­lects milk from around 1,100 farm­ers in Ul­ster — to process milk on both sides of the bor­der.

It’s also re­cruited an­other 20 staff, bring­ing the work­force in Ar­ti­gar­van to 70.

But Mr D’arcy said the com­pany is not yet “Brexit –proofed”. “We’re ready to meet the chal­lenges of Brexit. If you look at the full ex­trem­i­ties of the po­ten­tial out­come here, you’d be a brave per­son in any en­vi­ron­ment to say that you were Brexit-proofed.”

Mr D’arcy said that whether the UK re­mains in the cus­toms union or not, Brexit will have a “mas­sive im­pact”.

“We can deal with the sce­nario if they’re out of the cus­toms union on March 2019,” he added. “We’d pre­fer if they weren’t, but we’re ready to deal with that on the most pri­mal side.”

Lac­patrick yes­ter­day un­veiled a tech­nol­ogy cen­tre in Ar­ti­gar­van which will make ad­vanced dairy in­gre­di­ents for mar­kets in Europe, Mid­dle East, Africa and Asia.

Mr D’arcy added: “We now have the abil­ity for the first time ever to process all of the milk that we col­lect in North­ern Ire­land, and vice versa in the Repub­lic. So that is a huge risk mit­i­ga­tion in ad­vance of what­ever agree­ment will en­sue.”

In May Mr D’arcy said Lac­patrick had seen a 25% surge in its sales into the Bri­tish mar­ket in the wake of Brexit, due to its pres­ence in North­ern Ire­land. He said that is con­tin­u­ing.

Lac­patrick CEO Gabriel D’arcy

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