Representatives from Glanbia Co-op, international dairy producer Royal A-ware and the Irish Government today took part in the turning of the sod at the site of a new continental cheese facility being built at Belview in Co Kilkenny.
The new facility will be one of the most efficient and sustainable continental cheese production facilities in Europe. It is planned that the first continental cheese will be produced for global markets at the facility in 2024.
The facility at Belview will support the incomes of over 4,500 farm families. Over 400 jobs will be created during construction. Once opened, the Kilkenny Cheese Limited facility at Belview will offer high-skill opportunities with 80 jobs.
The facility, which is being built by Kilkenny Cheese Ltd, a joint venture between family-owned Dutch dairy producer Royal A-Ware and Glanbia Co-op, will have a footprint of 18,000 square metres. It will produce over 50,000 tonnes of continental cheese per year, including Edam, Gouda and Emmental cheese varieties which will be brought to market by Royal A-ware through their established channels.
The sod-turning was performed by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue.
Welcoming the new development project in the south-east, the Tánaiste said, "It’s an honour to be in Belview today to turn the sod on this brand new €200m continental cheese facility. It’s a huge boost for the south-east which has experienced significant and long overdue investment and jobs growth in the past year or two."
Glanbia Co-op CEO, Jim Bergin added, "Today marks a significant step on the road to diversifying our product offering post-Brexit. Our Co-op will also benefit from the additional whey and cream streams produced by this new cheese facility. This facility is essential in the context of a sustainable future for our Co-op and our sector as set out in our Living Proof sustainability strategy."