- Carbery Group €78M expansion and new state of the art facility in West Cork is now operational
- Production of pasta filata (mozzarella and grilling cheese) is underway
- The Group’s output is set to increase from 55,000 tonnes per annum to 64,000.
Thursday 19 November 2020: Carbery Group are excited to announce the completion of the expansion at their Headquarters in Ballineen, West Cork, and the beginning of production of new cheese varieties (mozzarella and grilling cheese). Supported by a €78m investment in a new facility at their headquarters in Ballineen, Co Cork, the new range will be sold in existing and new markets with a particular focus on growing markets in Asia.
CEO of Carbery Group Jason Hawkins said of the expansion: “Our cheese diversification strategy has been in the works now for a number of years, so it’s great to see all our planning and efforts come to fruition. It’s a significant investment for us, in financial terms, but also in terms of our strategy, our people and market research. Our teams across the business have been working extremely hard on this project and we are really looking forward to bringing our products to new markets and returning value on this investment to our farmer shareholders. This diversification will create new markets and value for our West Cork milk suppliers.”
The expansion in Ballineen is supported by a new state of the art facility, with specialist equipment from New Zealand, Italy, UK, Denmark and Minnesota in the US. The Group will initially be focusing exports on customers in Asia, including China and Japan, and mainland Europe.
John Holland, Chief Operating Officer of the group, who has overseen the expansion project at Ballineen, spoke of his excitement about the opportunities ahead. “We are extremely proud of the cheese we produce in Ballineen and the quality and flexibility we offer to our customers. This step forward will only enhance our capabilities into the future. We have been implementing a growth strategy for a number of years now to diversify our outputs, and therefore expand our customer base. We believe that our heritage and expertise in dairy, combined with our dedicated people, talented team of researchers, food scientists and cheese technologists enables us to develop products that will excite our existing and new customers.”
Commenting on this latest development, Chairman of Carbery Group, TJ Sullivan said: “This is a significant investment for the Board of Carbery and our farmer suppliers, and it has required vision for the future and confidence in ourselves and the quality of our milk supply. It’s great to see the facility operational, and especially to see some good news for West Cork at the end of a difficult year for everyone.”
Best known for producing Dubliner Cheese and Carbery Cracker for the Irish domestic market as well as cheese for export under the Ornua brands, Carbery Group currently produces 55,000 tonnes of cheese annually, or 25% of all cheese made in Ireland. This is set to increase to 64,000 tonnes with the new expansion now in place. John Holland explains “Our new production facilities allow us to offer pasta filata, including mozzarella and grilling cheese, to the market. We are continuing to supply our wide range of cheddar types.”
Commenting on the circumstances of this year and how Carbery embraced the challenges, CEO Jason Hawkins said: “2020 has been a challenging year for us all, and Carbery has been no exception. I want to sincerely thank our employees and in particular everyone involved with the cheese expansion project, for continuing to push to deliver this project even through the extremely difficult circumstances that Covid created during the year. I know that our success will be down to the commitment and dedication shown by all our employees.”
About Carbery Group
Carbery Group is wholly owned by the four West Cork Co-ops – Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh and Lisavaird, and the new production facility will process 19 million litres of milk a week during peak supply, from over 1,200 farmer suppliers. As well as funding from Carbery’s existing lenders, the €78 million investment is part funded by a €35 million loan from the European Investment Bank. This loan was the first granted by the EIB to an Irish Agri Foods Group and represents the first direct EIB support for investment in the Irish cooperative sector in 45 years and the first Irish investment under the EIB’s dedicated streamlined agriculture financing programme.
Carbery was founded in 1965, and has spent over 50 years producing innovative, natural cheese solutions for international markets. They are one of Ireland’s largest cheese producers, and highly knowledgeable across the full spectrum of dairy production from farming to food science and from research to food applications. Milk from grass fed cows is supplied from 1,200 local family owned farms, where cows graze outdoors for up to 300 days a year.
For more details on Carbery Group, please contact Carbery Group Communications Manager Louise Kelly at [email protected] or 083 888 5995.