Carbery Group has announced the completion of the expansion at their Headquarters in Ballineen, West Cork, and the beginning of production of new cheese varieties (mozzarella and grilling cheese) for the foodservice market in Europe and Asia.
Supported by a €78m investment in a new facility at their headquarters in Ballineen, Co Cork, the new ranges of cheese will go to market under the brand name ‘Carbery Dairy’, to be sold in existing and new markets with a particular focus on growing markets in Asia.
CEO of Carbery Group Jason Hawkins said of the expansion: “Our cheese diversification strategy has been in the works now for a number of years, so it’s great to see all our planning and efforts come to fruition. It’s a significant investment for us, in financial terms, but also in terms of our strategy, our people and market research. Our teams across the business have been working extremely hard on this project and we are really looking forward to bringing our products to new markets and returning value on this investment to our farmer shareholders. This diversification will create new markets and value for our West Cork milk suppliers.”
The expansion in Ballineen is supported by a new state of the art facility, with specialist equipment from New Zealand, Italy, UK, Denmark and Minnesota in the US. The Group will initially be focusing exports on customers in Asia, including China and Japan, and mainland Europe.
John Holland, Chief Operating Officer of the group, who has overseen the expansion project at Ballineen, spoke of his excitement about the opportunities ahead: “We are extremely proud of the cheese we produce in Ballineen and the quality and flexibility we offer to our customers. This step forward will only enhance our capabilities into the future. We have been implementing a growth strategy for a number of years now to diversify our outputs, and therefore expand our customer base. Our extensive market research has shown us that demand in Asia for dairy products and particularly cheese continues to grow. We believe that our heritage and expertise in dairy, combined with our dedicated people, talented team of researchers, food scientists and cheese technologists enables us to develop products that will excite our existing and new customers.”
Commenting on this latest development, Chairman of Carbery Group, TJ Sullivan said: “This is a significant investment for the Board of Carbery and our farmer
suppliers, and it has required vision for the future and confidence in ourselves and the quality of our milk supply. It’s great to see the facility operational, and especially to see some good news for West Cork at the end of a difficult year for everyone.”
Best known for producing Dubliner Cheese and Carbery Cracker for the Irish domestic market as well as cheese for export under the Ornua brands, Carbery Group currently produces 55,000 tonnes of cheese annually, or 25% of all cheese made in Ireland. This is set to increase to 64,000 tonnes with the new expansion now in place. The ‘Carbery Dairy’ brand is a new development for the Group which is producing new varieties of cheese for new markets, and also going to market in a new way. John Holland explains “Our new production facilities allow us to offer pasta filata, including mozzarella and grilling cheese, to the market. We are continuing to supply our wide range of cheddar types and all of our cheese products will now be marketed to the ingredient and food service industry for use in commercial kitchens.”
Commenting on the circumstances of this year and how Carbery embraced the challenges, CEO Jason Hawkins said: “2020 has been a challenging year for us all, and Carbery has been no exception. I want to sincerely thank our employees and in particular everyone involved with the cheese expansion project, for continuing to push to deliver this project even through the extremely difficult circumstances that Covid created during the year. I know that our success will be down to the commitment and dedication shown by all our employees.”
+ 353 1 709 6900