Ornua to expand US cheese-making operation with $10m investment

Kerrygold owner plans to improve production capacity by almost a third

Ornua will expand its Hilbert, Wisconsin, cheese ingredients facility.

Ornua will expand its Hilbert, Wisconsin, cheese ingredients facility.

 

Ornua, the State’s largest dairy exporter, will invest $10 million (€8.7 million) in one of its US cheese-making facilities to increase production capacity by almost a third.

The owner of the Kerrygold brand said on Wednesday that it will expand its Hilbert, Wisconsin, cheese ingredients facility by adding 22,000sq ft of warehouse and cooling infrastructure. This will add 30 per cent to production capacity.

“This latest round of investment is consistent with the investments made since Ornua acquired Thiel Cheese and it is a business that will see further investment over the coming years,” said Bernard Condon, managing director of Ornua Ingredients.

Ornua Ingredients North America formulates and manufactures pasteurised processed cheese products. The company’s ingredients arm has another cheese making facility in Minnesota. Last year, the business supplied cheese for about 50 million pizzas.

Ornua processes nearly 45 per cent of the Republic’s near eight billion-litre milk pool on behalf of a 33-strong group of co-ops, processors and food firms.

Last year its flagship butter and dairy label Kerrygold generated more than €1 billion in sales, making it Ireland’s first billion euro food brand.

The Dublin-headquartered company had total sales of €2.3 billion last year and employed 2,400 staff.