Dairygold have been granted permission to develop a €120m expansion in Mallow. The proposed new dairy processing facility will lead to the creation of 100 direct and indirect jobs, according to Dairygold.
The redevelopment of the company’s existing location in Mallow will also see output return to 450 tonnes of milk powders per day.
The co-op expects substantial growth expected in milk production from 2015, when the abolition of milk quotas occurs.
Mayor of Mallow, Cllr Noel O Connor welcomed a “historic” day for Mallow. “This could see the re-invigoration of the economic life of Mallow,” he said.
“While accepting that this is just one cog in the process of this development and of the spending of millions of euros by Dairygold on this development, the significance of this granting cannot be underestimated,” he said.
“This step in the progress of this project will secure the future prosperity of not alone the farming community of North Cork going forward, but indeed the urban dwellers and businesses in Mallow also."
The re-development of the Mallow site could begin in 2013 and Dairygold plan to have it completed by 2015. As part of the expansion, two new 7.5 tonne-per-hour driers will be installed in Mallow, the first in 2015 and the second in 2019, or perhaps earlier depending on demand.
Milk powders to be produced in Mallow will include whole milk powder, fat filled milk powder and infant milk formula base, for which the co-op has customers and markets in several destinations worldwide.
The re-development proposes to establish a world-class dairy processing facility on the Mallow site integrating current operations with planned new facilities.
During the expansion a significant number of construction jobs will be generated, in addition to the 100 direct and indirect jobs.
Dairygold Chief Executive Jim Woulfe said that the removal of the quota restriction, “will bring about great opportunity and new life to the Mallow site, delivering a significant economic benefit to the town and to the surrounding area.”
“The Dairygold milk processing site in Mallow can look forward to a bright and sustainable future,” he said.
In Mallow, Dairygold currently employs 135 people in its milk processing including laboratories, the Co-Op SuperStore, Park Road and offices at West End.
Cork County Council granted planning permission last week with a number of conditions.
Research and innovation minister, TD Seán Sherlock, has also welcomed the announcement by Dairygold.
Dairygold has surveyed its 3,000 suppliers in Munster and has forecast that, as a result of the quota ending, there will be a 63.5 per cent increase in milk production from 941m litres per year in 2011 to 1.54bn litres by 2020.
Dairygold currently employs 1,150 people, is owned by almost 9,000 farmer shareholders, including 3,000 milk suppliers, and generates an annual turnover of €750m.
Sugar beet industry
Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney TD has said this week that the Government plans to attempt to revive the Irish sugar beet industry in 2015. First though, he said that the Government has to agree on sugar production quotas with the European Commission.
Simon Coveney said the skill set existed in the State to grow and harvest sugar and he would “certainly like to see a situation where we could be processing our own sugar”. He said this would also be subject to the commercial feasibility of building a €200 million to €300 million processing plant.
The last sugar beet plant Ireland closed in Mallow in 2006 following EU sugar policy reforms. In 2010 it was found that the plant did not have to close, as it was profitable.