New €10 Million Investment in Irish Dairy Technology

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New €10 Million Investment in Irish Dairy Technology

New €10 Million Investment in Irish Dairy Technology
December 17
13:53 2019
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A new €10 million investment in Moorepark Technology Ltd (MTL) has been officially opened at Fermoy, County Cork in Ireland. The €10 million investment in the new Moorepark Technology Ltd Pilot Plant Extension was made by Teagasc (Irish Agriculture & Food Development Authority) and the dairy companies who are shareholders in MTL.

Today MTL is a modern pilot plant facility containing versatile scale processing equipment across a wide range of applications, making it one of the foremost pilot facilities in the world. It was set up in the early 1990s as a dedicated state of the art pilot plant to meet the growing Research and Development needs of the dairy industries.

Speaking at the Official Opening, Michael Creed TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said: “The Irish food industry needs to continuously adapt and change to meet the new market challenges that continuously emerge. This new MTL pilot plant extension allows dairy companies and other food companies to develop new products and adapt existing food offerings, to meet the needs of an ever changing consumer. MTL underwent a detailed review process, and emerged with an ambitious strategy for development and growth, which is secured with this €10 million investment. I want to acknowledge the shareholders commitment and their desire to position MTL as a futuristic pilot plant.”

Chairman of Teagasc, Liam Herlihy thanked each of the shareholders and the Minister for making their respective investments. He said: “The pilot plant can provide critical technical knowledge in applying research and optimising a large-scale plant. It allows the implementation of new product and process changes in controlled and least cost principles. The range of equipment and technical knowledge, combined with the range of testing and analytical facilities from the Teagasc Food Research Centre, makes this campus a huge asset to the industry.”

Ownership of MTL is on a shareholder basis with Teagasc being the majority shareholder (57%) and the remaining shares being held by nine dairy processing companies, Enterprise Ireland and Ornua.  The dairy companies with shareholdings include Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, Kerry Group, Dairygold Co-op, Carbery Group,  Arrabawn Co-op, Aurivo Co-op, Tipperary Co-op Creamery, North Cork Co-op and Mullinahone Co-op. The shareholders were represented by their respective Chairs and Chief executives at the official opening.

Cal Flynn, Chairman of the MTL Board, said: “The investment in MTL has seen increased usage of the facility in line with the forecasts in the strategic plan. It now has a base infrastructure to build on to support the urgent development requirements that Brexit has foisted upon the Irish Dairy industry and food sector as a whole.”

The pilot plant contains the most up-to-date and versatile pilot scale processing equipment for food research and development. MTL’s core business is the rental of that pilot plant to food companies worldwide and public research institutions for the purposes of carrying out product and process development, training, or small scale start-up manufacture. MTL operates an ultra-modern pilot plant covering 5,000 sq. metres floor area. The services offered by MTL include: Pilot plant rental; Contract research and development; Pre-commercial manufacture and Technical assistance/advice/support.

Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle said: “This new Moorepark Technology Limited Pilot Plant Extension is part of the Teagasc suite of support facilities for food companies in Ireland. We have a comprehensive food research programme based here in Moorepark and at the research facility in Ashtown, Dublin, providing expertise to the broad spectrum of Ireland’s food industry.”

He said: “We have also just broken ground on an additional €10 million investment in a Food Innovation Hub here in Moorepark.  This new world class facility will allow companies to rent high quality laboratories and offices to locate their own R&D teams at Moorepark who will collaborate with Teagasc researchers and use the MTL pilot plant. In this unique environment food companies will greatly enhance their research and innovation capacity.”

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