Dairygold welcomes planning approval for €120 million development

Dairygold has welcomed planning approval by An Bord Pleanála for the €120 million re-development of the  co-op’s dairy processing site in Mallow to enable the Society to process the additional milk flow which will follow on from the removal of milk quota restrictions in 2015. The first phase of processing expansion, which will involve the NIRO3 Milk Dryer expansion and new milk intake, evaporation and dryer facilities in Mitchelstown, began last January. This development, which represents a €33m investment will be completed and commis-sioned ahead of peak milk in the second quarter of 2014. The second phase of processing expansion, which will involve the development of the co-op’s Mallow site, will follow first with a new milk intake, evaporator and dryer, with plans now in place for further expansion as milk volumes increase in line with predictions, said Mr Jim Woulfe, Dairygold’s Chief Executive. “Dairygold’s milk suppliers have indicated clear intent to expand milk production by 2020 by between 55 to 60% over the Society’s 2011 milk production levels. Last month Dairygold’s members gave their overwhelming endorsement to the Society’s milk expansion plans at a Special General Meeting and 95% of the Society’s milk suppliers have now signed up the Society’s Milk Supply Agreement which under-pins the co-op’s expansion plan,” said Mr Woulfe.

Mallow Chamber President Mary Kelly has warmly welcomed the news, saying “Mallow has a well established and long standing connection with Dairygold and that will be renewed with this development, which will bring world class manufacturing right into the heart of Mallow town. Not only will it result in 100 permanent jobs upon completion, but also create construction jobs once development of the site gets under way.

“The benefits will be two-fold, in the short to medium term; Mallow’s businesses will benefit from an additional spend in the local economy, but the location of such a high profile and large scale manufacturing plant in the centre of the town will further boost our lobbying position with the Government and the National Roads Authority to secure a ring road for Mallow to deal with the increased traffic this facility will bring to the town.”

Deputy Tom Barry said, “This is fantastic news for the greater area and for Mallow in particular, as it will provide a central platform for the inevitable growth in the dairy industry and will make that growth sustainable. One hundred direct jobs will be created in the dairy processing expansion but the effect upstream and downstream of the development means that you can multiply that job number several times. I’d like to pay tribute to Jim Woulfe and his team at Dairygold who have stepped up to the mark repeatedly this year – especially so during the recent fodder crisis when they began mass-importing fodder for beleaguered herds. Now it’s time to look to the future with this major development.”

Cllr Jerry Mullally expressed the hope that it would lead to further expansion in the future, while Cllr. Dan Joe Fitzgerald praised the shareholders for com-mitting to the project, and hoped it would benefit everyone in the future in terms of profits and employment.