Wednesday, June 22, 2022

GLANBIA Co-op and Royal A-ware’s €200 million continental cheese facility will support the incomes of over 4,500 family farms, and create 80 jobs and 400 construction jobs in the south-east. 

On Wednesday, Representatives from Glanbia Co-op, international dairy producer Royal A-ware and the Irish Government took part in the turning of the sod at the site of the Strategically important national project being built at Belview.  

The 18,000 sqm facility, which is being built by Kilkenny Cheese Ltd, a joint venture between family-owned Dutch dairy producer Royal A-Ware and Glanbia Co-op, will produce over 50,000 tonnes of continental cheese per year. The facility will be one of the most efficient and sustainable continental cheese production facilities in Europe. It is planned that the first continental cheese will be produced for global markets within two years’ time. 

The sod-turning was performed by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue. Welcoming the new development, the Tánaiste said; “It’s an honour to be in Belview today to turn the sod on this brand new €200m continental cheese facility. It’s a huge boost for the south-east which has experienced significant and long overdue investment and jobs growth in the past year or two.” 

Pictured at the turning of the sod on Glanbia Co-op and A-ware’s €200 million continental cheese facility at Belview County Kilkenny are from left; John Murphy Chairman Glanbia Co-op, Jan Anker Chief Executive of Royal A-ware, Jim Bergin Chief Executive of Glanbia Co-op, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Photograph; Patrick Browne

Minister McConalogue added that it is great to see this really important project finally come to fruition. “This is a great day for the 4,500 Glanbia farm family suppliers as well as for the wider Irish agriculture sector and Irish farmers as a whole. Both I and the Government have been supportive of the project throughout, because of its profound importance to farming in the south-east. It is heartening to know too that Glanbia Co-op is fully committed to a sustainable future for the dairy sector in partnership with Government, through the Food Vision 2030 Strategy. I look forward to continued engagement through these initiatives into the future.”  

Also speaking at the event, Glanbia Co-op CEO Jim Bergin, said: “We are delighted to partner with Royal A-ware, a leading global producer of continental cheese, to build this world-class facility in the south-east of Ireland. The joint venture approach brings expertise in continental cheese production and a new route to market for our farmers. Today marks a significant step on the road to diversifying our product offering post-Brexit. Our Co-op will also benefit from the additional whey and cream streams produced by this new cheese facility. This facility is essential in the context of a sustainable future for our Co-op and our sector as set out in our Living Proof sustainability strategy.” 

Royal A-ware’s CEO Jan Anker said, “Today’s milestone will see our company bring high-quality continental cheese produced through a local supply chain into the marketplace. We look forward to this great new facility opening in 2024.” 

The Kilkenny Cheese joint venture was announced in January 2019 and was scheduled for commissioning in 2022. It is now on track to commence cheese production early in 2024. The new facility is supported by Enterprise Ireland.  

Kilkenny Cheese Ltd will invest in highly advanced carbon-efficient processing technology and its enhanced sustainability design ensures it will be a best-in-class facility. 

As part of its strong focus on sustainability, it will utilise reusable packing crates saving a substantial amount of cardboard and incorporate new vacuum packing machines delivering yearly savings of over 80,000 kg of plastic (80 tonnes). 


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