Ornua, the owner of Kerrygold, has unveiled a new €40 million development at Kerrygold Park, its flagship butter production facility in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.
The major investment will underpin Kerrygold’s plans to become Ireland’s first €2 billion food brand and support the rapidly growing global demand for Kerrygold, including in the U.S. where it is the number two butter brand.
Kerrygold Park is home to a butter production facility, with cutting-edge processing technology and infrastructure, including two state-of-the-art butter churns and 10 packing lines for a range of over 50 different product formats available across over 60 markets globally. The investment in the facility has seen Kerrygold Park’s total cream processing capacity grow significantly, enabling increased production of up to 80,000 tonnes of butter per year, which equates to over 1 million packs per day.
As a result of the investment in Kerrygold Park, which has received funding support through Enterprise Ireland, Ornua has also expanded its direct employment at the facility by 20%. The 30 new jobs bring Ornua’s total Kerrygold Park workforce to 180.
Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, said: “Today’s announcement represents a very significant milestone in the long and successful Kerrygold story, and indeed, the story of Irish dairy. Irish dairy farming families work tirelessly to produce the world-class milk which makes Kerrygold a world-famous dairy brand.
“This strategic investment, which was part financed by the Government’s Capital Investment Scheme for the Agri Food processing sector, will help to ensure Kerrygold has the world-leading processing capabilities needed to continue to grow the brand and generate value for the community of Irish dairy farming families which it represents.
“I’d like to extend my congratulations to Ornua, its Member Co-operatives, and the entire team at Kerrygold Park and wish them continued future success.”
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney TD, said: “The global growth of the Kerrygold brand demonstrates the vitality of Ireland’s agri-food sector and dairy industry ecosystem. Critically, the brand supports the lives and livelihoods of hard-working Irish farming families throughout rural communities.
“Ornua’s investment in growing Kerrygold Park, which we are pleased to support through the Capital Investment Scheme, will further strengthen routes to high-value markets for Irish dairy, while directly supporting incomes that form part of our vital rural economy.”
Aidan O’Driscoll, Ornua Co-operative Chair, said: “For the past 60 years, Kerrygold has proudly brought the unique taste of Irish grass-fed dairy to the world on behalf of Ornua’s Member Co-operatives and the 14,000 dairy farming families they represent.
“We are collectively proud of the success the brand has achieved internationally, including in major markets such as the U.S. where Kerrygold is the second largest butter brand. We are also passionate about growing the brand’s global status further and focused on safeguarding the value it returns to the Irish dairy sector through the premiumisation of Irish dairy.
“Our strategic development of Kerrygold Park is central to this ambition and will support the next phase of growth for Kerrygold on its journey to become Ireland’s first €2 billion food brand.”
Jenny Melia, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland, said: “Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting companies like Ornua to increase their level of innovation, improve their competitiveness and expand their global footprint, with the ultimate goal of delivering export growth for Ireland.
“The opening of Kerrygold Park today reflects highly on the entire Irish dairy sector – pooling together innovation with best-in-class facilities. Enterprise Ireland has supported this development under the 2021 Capital Investment Scheme which aims to build the resilience of the Irish dairy and meat sectors by focusing on increasing the value added and directing new products into global markets.
“This state-of-the-art facility is certainly doing that and is a lighthouse to other Irish food companies looking to innovate and grow exports.”