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Dairy cooperative LacPatrick invests £30m in Northern Ireland site

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Dairy cooperative LacPatrick invests £30m in Northern Ireland site

Dairy cooperative LacPatrick invests £30m in Northern Ireland site
November 10
10:44 2015

Newly merged dairy cooperative LacPatrick has announced a £30m investment at its plant in Northern Ireland that will put it “at the forefront of the developing market for advanced dairy technology”.

The investment – the largest within the Ulster dairy sector in a generation – will see the site in Artigarvan, County Tyrone benefit from new dairy processing technology using the recently announced Strabane Gas link as its primary source of energy.

The expansion will create 15 additional jobs, the majority of which will be at Artigarvan. Work has begun on the site and it is expected that it will be fully operational by April 2017.

LacPatrick Group operations director Tommy Thompson said: “Our Artigarvan plant has been exporting high quality milk powders for decades to more than 30 countries worldwide.

“Our milk pool is growing rapidly and our members were keen we develop a sustainable and effective facility that will enable them to secure routes to primary export markets.

“We have already established a reputation of excellence and we see this as a real opportunity to push this out even further globally when the plant is up and running in 2017.

“This is an exciting announcement to make on the back of our recent merger and evidences the strength of the newly combined entities.  At the moment LacPatrick injects around £120m annually into the dairy farming community in Ulster and this huge investment – the biggest of its kind in a generation – is destined to secure and further enhance this return to the farming community in the years ahead.

“In our view there has never been a better time for Ulster farmers to grow their businesses, safe in the knowledge that there is local and international confidence in the quality of produce, the demand for which is increasing all the time. LacPatrick is the only processor of milk left in the north west of the island with a direct route to export markets and it is our members who stand to benefit.”

LacPatrick Group chief executive Gabriel D’Arcy added: “We are delighted to be making this strong statement of confidence that has huge significance for us, our suppliers and our shareholders.  This announcement follows the equally exciting formation of LacPatrick and underpins the vision of the respective boards and members of the founding co-ops.

“This leading edge investment, totally funded by LacPatrick, positions the company competitively at the forefront of the developing market for advanced dairy technology. It is an important part of our measured growth strategy and we anticipate further major announcements during the next five year period as we consolidate our position as a new force within the Irish dairy industry.”

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