Dairygold’s €120m expansion will create over 100 new direct and indirect jobs in Mallow

There has been a long tradition and a proud heritage of milk processing on Dairygold’s milk processing site in Mallow, going back almost a century. The planned €120 million expansion, for which a planning applic-ation has been made, will build on a long track record of excellence in milk production and milk processing in the Mallow area and will ensure that this proud tradition continues for decades to come. In preparation for the substantial growth expected in milk prod-uction from 2015, the major portion of the planned €120m investment will be spent on the re-development and revit-alisation of the co-op’s Mallow site. In Mallow, Dairygold currently emp-loys 135 people in milk processing including laboratories, the Co-Op SuperStore, Park Road and offices at West End. The re-development proposes to establish a world-class dairy processing facility on the Mallow site, integrating current operations with planned new facilities. This is essential to have the necessary processing capacity in place to process additional milk and to capitalise on the opport-unities which the abolition in 2015 of milk quota restrictions will provide.

Dairygold, employing over 1,150 people, is owned by almost 9,000 farmer shareholders, of whom 3,000 are milk suppliers. The co-op generates an annual turnover of over €750m, trades in grain, animal feeds, fertiliser and retail goods, processes 940m litres of milk a year, manufactures dairy ingredients overseas in the UK and Europe, and sells dairy product to global markets and key customers worldwide.

Dairygold operates three milk processing sites in Munster, producing a range of dairy products including cheese and dairy ingredients in Mitchels-town, speciality cheeses in Mogeely, and milk powders including whole milk powders, skim milk powders and blended milk powders in Mallow.

Dairygold’s Mallow site is ideally located in the dairy heartland of Munster to service its extensive dairy farming hinterland. It currently operates on a seasonal basis, working through the months when there is a significant volume of milk supply. It operates a two and three shift work-cycle over twenty four hours.

Subject to planning approval, the re-develop-ment of the Mallow site could begin in 2013 and be commissioned in advance of the projected milk growth postquota. During the expansion a significant number of construction jobs will be generated.

The Mallow re-develop-ment plan is well-grounded and the site’s re-develop-ment will provide a great boost for the local food and agricultural sector within Munster. It will help local farmers process milk in a more efficient and sustainable way, generate additional jobs, allow Irish dairy products compete more comp-etitively on the world stage and maintain strong employment in the area.

Commenting on the planning application, 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 surr-ounding area”, adding that “the Dairygold milk processing site in Mallow can look forward to a bright and sustainable future”.

Expansion benefits will: provide a platform for substantial and sustainable growth in dairy farming activity; substantially increase rural economic activity in the Mallow hinterland; create signif-icant job opportunities and provide long-term sustain-able employment in farming and processing related activities; create over 100 new direct and indirect jobs relating to Mallow’s dairy processing expansion; improve the viability and sustainability of dairy processing operations in Mallow; gen-erate substantial additional spend in Mallow town; greatly improve the capa-bility and appearance of the Mallow dairy proc-essing site; and potentially attract new businesses to the town.

Mallow Re-development Overview

Subject to planning app-roval and the establishment of the necessary buildings, the expansion in processing capacity in Mallow will be implemented as required over a number of years. This will be achieved through the installation of two new 7.5 tonne per hour driers in Mallow, one planned for 2015 and the second in 2019, or earlier, if the expected surge in milk-flow from 2015 comes earlier than expected.

With expansion the output from the Mallow site will be upwards of 450 tonnes of milk powders per day. This will bring it back to a level of production last achieved when the site hosted the combined activities of milk powder, chocolate crumb and butter production. The proposed new facility will be larger scale, cleaner, quieter and more efficient and will also incorporate best environ-mental practice, enhancing the environmental prot-ections already in place on the site. There will be no required changes to the range of activities currently being undertaken at the facility and all re-devel-opment works will be within the existing site boundary. The generation of a value added cost-efficient development based on the presence of a competent workforce, available road network, an existing licensed facility and established services and economies in cost, made the expansion of the existing Mallow milk powder operation, already established at the site, a clear choice for Dairygold.

The proposed expanded Mallow facility will provide capacity to process the upsurge in milk production which will follow on from the removal of milk quota restrictions in 2015. This will provide a major boost to agriculture and farming income in the region and hence benefit the broader community directly and indirectly in several different ways. The development of the Mallow site will obviously be of benefit to the construction sector and will generate additional activity which should result in increased spend in the town and its hinterland for many years to come.

The Planning Application

The proposed Mallow re-development planning application will be available to view in the offices of the local authority; Mallow Town Council, in Mallow Town Hall, during normal business hours or on the planning section of Cork Co. Council’s website: www.corkcoco.ie. A copy of the planning application can also be purchased at the local authority planning office during public opening hours. In addition, a courtesy copy of the Non-Technical Summary of the Environmental Impact Statement relating to the environmental impact study undertaken in the preparation of the planning application is available on request from Dairygold’s West End office in Mallow.