The opening of Kerrygold Park in Mitchelstown on Wednesday was referred to as ‘a major vote of confidence in the future of the Irish dairy industry, offering a significant jobs boost to North Cork and the South West Region’.

These were the words of Minister Michael Creed who, along with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD and Ornua chairman Aaron Forde, performed the official opening of the €38 million state-of-the-art Kerrygold butter production and packing facility.

Ornua CEO Kevin Lane, said the opening of Kerrygold Park marks ‘a special day for Ireland’s dairy industry adding that from the fields to the processors, the success of Kerrygold is based on the outstanding quality of the milk and cream that goes into it.

“Now, we have a world-class production and packing facility to complete the value chain. Kerrygold Park is core to our ambitious plans to develop the Kerrygold brand from a butter brand to a dairy brand.

“Not only will the new facility significantly enhance our production, it also greatly improves our innovation capability and our ability to deliver premium dairy products to consumers around the world. This is the most effective way of securing value for Irish dairy farmers,” he said

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “The opening of Kerrygold Park and the 65 new jobs created today, is excellent news for the people of Mitchelstown and North Cork.”

She said Ornua’s strategy to develop Kerrygold as a global dairy brand will contribute to increasing trade and employment in rural communities throughout Ireland.

The opening of the facilityw as also welcomed by Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister for State at the Department of Justice & Equality, David Stanton who was present at the event saying: “This is great news for the economy of the Mitchelstown area and the wider dairy industry in my constituency of Cork East and Munster”, said Minister Stanton.

Ornua is Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products, exporting to over 110 countries worldwide.  A key part of Ornua’s growth strategy is to significantly increase sales of the Kerrygold brand. Today, Kerrygold sales retail at c€750 million, with targets to grow to €1 billion.  Kerrygold Park will ensure a world-class supply chain to support both this growth target and the further development of the brand.

Kerrygold Park will have the capability to produce new butter products and formats not currently available in Ireland. Kerrygold Park will also house the ‘Green to Gold’ Customer Innovation Centre, which will be a key destination for international customer visits to Ireland. The opening was attended by international customers, representatives from the dairy and business communities and public representatives.