John McGuinness welcomes sod turning on new €200m Glanbia cheese facility in Kilkenny

Published on: 24 June 2022

Fianna Fáil TD for Kilkenny, John McGuinness has welcomed the official sod-turning on the new €200 million Glanbia Co-op and Royal A-ware continental cheese facility in Belview, Co Kilkenny today.

Deputy McGuinness commented, “It is a wonderful moment for Kilkenny and the surrounding area as this really exciting project gets underway. It is great to see this really important project finally come to fruition. 

“This is also a great day for the 4,500 Glanbia farm family suppliers as well as for the wider Irish agriculture sector and Irish farmers as a whole." 

The Kilkenny TD added: “I have been supportive of the project throughout, because of its profound importance to farming in Kilkenny and the south-east. It is heartening to know too that Glanbia Co-op is fully committed to a sustainable future for the dairy sector in partnership with Government, through the Food Vision 2030 Strategy. I look forward to continued engagement through these initiatives into the future.”

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, 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 production facility will utilise approximately 450 million litres of milk from Glanbia milk suppliers each year. Glanbia Co-op currently sends some milk for processing by third parties during the peak milk supply months; the new facility will allow this milk to be brought in-house for processing in one of the most sustainable cheese plants in Europe. This will consolidate milk processing and reduce transport movements.

Previous studies show Glanbia Co-op’s activities have a positive impact on Ireland’s rural economy and the new 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.

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