Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has welcomed the announcement by Lakeland Dairies that it is to expand its milk powder processing plant in Bailieboro, Co. Cavan. The €36m investment will create 81 new jobs at the Bailieboro, Killeshandra and Lough Egish plants.
Deputy Smith commented, “As Minister for Agriculture, I had argued very strongly for the abolition of milk quotas at EU level, which was confirmed in a review of the Common Agricultural Policy in November 2008. This decision enables a major expansion of the dairy industry, which was provided for in the 20/20 Food Harvest Strategy, published by the Fianna Fáil Government in 2010 and which projected a 50% increase in milk production.
“Ireland needs to be to the forefront in advocating the provision of adequate market support measures by the European Union when market conditions deteriorate to ensure stability in financial returns to farmers. Today’s announcement by Lakeland Dairies is a significant boost for Cavan and Bailieboro in particular, and will bring much needed employment into an area which has been deprived of investment over the past four years”.
“Lakeland Dairies has its roots in the Cavan-Monaghan region, and was formally established following the merger of Killeshandra and Lough Egish in 1990. Since then it has grown and diversified significantly to become a global market leader, with 170 products being exported to 70 countries. This new development follows on from a major investment in new facilities in Bailieboro in 2009/2010 which was supported by the then Government’s Dairy Investment Programme.
“At the heart of this success story are the hundreds of farmers and staff who are dedicated to supplying and developing high quality produce and I wish to pay tribute to their commitment and dedication.
“The abolition of the milk quotas will open up the dairy market sector and this expansion project will put Lakeland Dairies in the driving seat to take advantage as new opportunities come down the line”.