The start of construction of a world-class €200 million Glanbia cheese factory signals a prosperous future for rural Ireland and family farms, a Laois TD and his colleagues have said.
Deputies Charlie Flanagan (Laois/Offaly), Paul Kehoe (Wexford), John Paul Phelan (Carlow Kilkenny), and David Stanton (Cork East), and Senators Garret Ahearn (Tipperary) and John Cummins (Waterford) said the hugely significant national project will support 80 jobs, as well as the incomes of over 4,500 family farms.
The statement from the six Fine Gael Oireachtas members, including four former Ministers, explains how the facility will benefit many people.
They said: “Fine Gael have fought hard for the people of rural Ireland and our work has clearly paid off with the turning of sod at the sight of the new continental cheese factory in Kilkenny today.
“The facility, which is expected to produce cheese for global markets by 2024, will yield over 50,000 tonnes of continental cheese per year – utilising around 450m litres of milk from Glanbia suppliers.
“Glanbia is a hugely important contributor to the economy of rural Ireland and is a lifeline for many workers across the country.
“Over €1.2 billion was paid to farm families for milk last year, with Glanbia Co-op being the largest purchaser and user of Irish grains.
“Not only will this project support rural Ireland and family farms, but it will also be one of the most sustainable continental cheese production facilities across Europe.
“By allowing for in-house milk processing, transport movements and costs will further be reduced.
“In addition to the 80 high-skilled job opportunities on offer once the facility is opened, over 400 jobs will be created during construction.
“It is estimated that the Kilkenny facility, located in the heart of rural Ireland, will support almost 1,400 jobs across the wider economy.
“This project has faced significant delays and the focus now must be to ensure it is fully operational as soon as possible in order to support the 4,500 family farms who supply milk to Glanbia every day.
“We will continue to fight for rural Ireland and farming families, and look forward to feeling the positive impact of this fantastic project in action.”