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Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Opens New Milk Protein Plant

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Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Opens New Milk Protein Plant

Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Opens New Milk Protein Plant
December 15
17:18 2014

Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) has launched its newly-built milk protein facility at its site in Virginia, County Cavan. This expansion of the Virginia facility, which processes milk from surrounding counties, and employs 100 people, is specifically designed to meet the exacting technical standards of the clinical and lifestyle nutrition market, a business which is growing worldwide and is predicted to expand by double digits over the next ten years.

Over €7.8 million has been invested in the Virginia plant to build the new milk protein unit, which will more than double current milk protein capacity from 4,000 to 10,000 tonnes. It is a significant boost for the Virginia facility which will also continue its extensive production of enriched milk powders for export markets as well as exclusive cream supply to the global Baileys liqueur brand.

GII, which is Ireland’s leading dairy ingredients company, has ambitious plans for growth. GII is currently investing €200 million in value adding facilities with support from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland. This investment programme, one of the largest ever undertaken by an indigenous company, will facilitate farmers and customers in expanding their businesses, particularly as the elimination of quotas in 2015 provides dairy farmers with an opportunity to expand production for the first time in 30 years.

GII is a joint venture between Glanbia and Glanbia Co-operative Society.

The new facility at Virginia was officially opened by representatives from the Governments of the Republic of Ireland and  Northern Ireland – Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (pictured above left), and Arlene Foster, NI Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (pictured above centre).

Speaking at the launch, Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said: “Glanbia is a very important employer locally, and this significant investment illustrates the company’s commitment to the area. Glanbia’s innovative approach to targeting key growth markets overseas has allowed it to grow exports and establish itself as one of the major players in the Irish agri-food sector. The agri-food sector is not only a very important source of employment in Cavan and Monaghan, it is also helping to drive our jobs recovery across the country. I am delighted that Glanbia is reaffirming its commitment to the area with this latest multi-million euro investment.”

Arlene Foster said: “Our food and drink industries both rely on export markets and we should build on our cooperation with Government bodies such as Invest NorthernIreland and Bord Bia continuing to collaborate to promote the free flow of trade across our border. By working together we can achieve much more and ultimately create a platform from which we can collectively sell more into target global markets. Glanbia employs a large number of people on both sides of the border, through direct employment and through the supply of milk from dairy farmers, and is an excellent example of the opportunities that cross-border trade and investment brings to both countries. This investment will create a number of new jobs in the border area and I look forward to deepening the strong existing relationships with our friends and colleagues in Cavan.”

Jim Bergin, CEO of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (pictured above right), said: “GII has a strong investment programme of over €200 million which is designed to position the business for future growth. While we are conscious of current fluctuations in commodity pricing, the long range outlook for the business and for suppliers is positive – with a growing demand from customers for the high quality milk proteins we will be producing here in Virginia. The opening of our new plant ensures that both GII and our farmer suppliers will be able to capitalise on the generational opportunity that is provided by the ending of milk quotas next year. We are proud to have been operating in Virginia since 1974 and look forward to continuing to invest in the business with this latest investment confirming our commitment to the plant and the local area.”

Pictured at the official opening of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland’s new milk protein plant were (left to right): Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; Jim Bergin, CEO of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland; Arlene Foster, NI Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment; and Liam Herlihy, chairman of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland.

Pictured at the official opening of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland’s new milk protein plant were (left to right): Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; Jim Bergin, CEO of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland; Arlene Foster, NI Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment; and Liam Herlihy, chairman of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, said: “This is a hugely significant and very welcome development for GII and the region. Enterprise Ireland has worked closely with the company in this current major expansionary phase and looks forward to continuing to support GII and the industry, which forms a vital part of the Irish economy.”

GII first launched its range of advanced milk protein powders under the Solmiko brand in 2008 and has since had much success with their application in the clinical nutrition and sports nutrition industries, making it one of the leading suppliers of milk proteins globally. These industries are worth €16 billion and are currently growing at greater than 6% per annum. The new SolmikoHD and SolagoHD variants have higher bulk density and good dispersibility making them easily incorporated into customer formulations using existing processing equipment.

The new facility in Virginia reinforces GII’s credentials on sustainability and conservation, and uses additional membrane technology that polishes and removes all remaining solids from the water extracted from the process, making it re-usable so no additional water is required for the new plant.

GII processes1.6 billion litres of milk annually or 30% of Ireland’s milk pool into a range of dairy ingredients for export to more than 50 countries. GII supplies a range of ingredients to the infant formula market and exports enriched milk powder to markets including West Africa, Middle East and Asia in consumer-ready formats. It also sells a range of dairy proteins into the clinical and sports nutrition sectors. GII is one of the key Irish dairy processors supplying cheese and butter to the Irish Dairy Board (which is sold under the Kerrygold brand). The business currently employs 668 employees and has market bases in Ireland, Germany, the US, Dubai and Senegal.

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