June 26, 2014


Irish Dairy Board's cheese production facility opens in US

The Irish Dairy Board (IDB) has opened a new US$12 million cheese production plant in Wisconsin, US.


The facility is part of the board's Thiel cheese and ingredients subsidiary and represents the final phase of a US$80 million investment programme in the US. The IDB said the facility would bolster its manufacturing capacity there by around 40% and would provide an "important route to market" for its protein product casein.


Irish minister for agriculture, Simon Coveney, officially opened the plant.


Through its extensive US customer base, the board hopes the investment will open up more opportunities for Irish dairy products. The US market is worth over US$681 million to Irish agri-food exports.


"Dairy production in Ireland is on the cusp of a dramatic expansion following the abolition of quotas in 2015," Coveney said.


"The Irish Dairy Board, through this initiative, is helping to build a reputation for the Irish dairy sector in the US, a new and growing market. Based on cutting edge technology, the research and innovation output from this facility can be applied to add value across the entire group."


 "(The opening) marks the completion of a very significant investment programme by IDB into the US food ingredients market and is in-line with our growth strategy to invest in high growth dairy businesses that deliver strong returns to our members," said IDB's chief executive, Kevin Lane.


"The focus of this investment is on innovation as much as production with our new facility enhancing our ability to create innovative food solutions that meet the evolving needs of our US customer base and their brands."


An agri-food co-operative which markets and sells dairy products on behalf of its members, the IDB exports about 60% of Ireland's dairy products to over 100 countries.