WexcreameryGlanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) is to seek planning permission for a major expansion at its Wexford cheese plant. The proposed €35 million investment is supported by Enterprise Ireland and will double peak milk processing capacity at the plant on the outskirts of Wexford town.

Wexford Creamery was acquired by Glanbia in May 2014. During 2015, the plant at Rocklands produced almost 20,000 tonnes of high quality cheddar cheese, as well as a valuable stream of high quality whey for further processing at GII’s Ballyragget, County Kilkenny facility.

Jim Bergin, Chief Executive of Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII), said: “This proposed investment is a tremendous vote of confidence in the staff at our Wexford plant, which produced record volumes of cheese in 2015. Our milk suppliers in Wexford are amongst the fastest growing and most progressive in the Glanbia catchment area. This investment will also enable further growth in our highly popular Wexford Cheese brand, which is being marketed in Ireland, the UK, the USA and most recently, the Middle East.”

In the 10 months since milk quota abolition last April, milk supply from GII’s 4800 farmer suppliers has grown by 22%. In 2015, across its four Irish milk processing locations, the company processed in excess of 2 billion litres of milk for the first time.

Henry Corbally, Chairman of GII said: “This latest investment is part of Glanbia’s commitment to meet the growth ambitions of our milk suppliers. In the past 3 years, GII has invested €235 million at the company’s milk processing plants at Virginia (County Cavan), Ballyragget and Belview (County Kilkenny).”

As well as increasing GII’s cheese processing capacity, the Wexford investment will deliver a very valuable whey stream for the sports nutrition sector, which is one of Glanbia’s key market platforms.

Glanbia Ingredients Ireland is launching Wexford branded cheese into the Middle Eastern region with a range of quality Irish cheddars available in 2.5 and 5 kg packs into the Horeca/Food Service and Deli Retail sectors – all of which will be featured and showcased at next week’s GulFood in Dubai, the world’s biggest annual food and hospitality show.