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Smith Officially Opens New Carbery Cheese Plant

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today officially opened a new cheese production plant for Carbery Milk Products.  This new state-of-the-art cheese facility will improve the efficiency of the production process and produce more value-added cheeses. Carbery designed the plant specifically for their own products and it is the only one of its kind in the world.

The Minister said that "the development of the new plant was made possible thanks to Carbery's own resources and innovation and also to the Dairy Investment Fund". Under the Dairy Investment Fund, a total of 19 capital investment projects were awarded Government grant assistance of over €114 million.  The funds were made available by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and administered by Enterprise Ireland.  This grant aid is geared to generating an estimated capital spend of €286 million in the Irish dairy processing sector and will play a key role in ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the dairy industry in Ireland.

Minister Smith said that Carbery "provides a clear example of the direction we should be heading in. The new plant will shift output away from commodity cheeses to produce more value-added small volume cheeses".  Increased production of these cheeses will lead to better margins and ensure better competitiveness in the marketplace. The Minister pointed out that "Ireland has rightly earned an international reputation for top quality products and our commitment to maintaining these very high standards is evident here today in this new facility".

Commenting on the current difficult world dairy market Minister Smith emphasised that the Irish dairy sector has shown resilience and flexibility in the past to overcome such challenges. "The dairy industry has shown an ability to innovate and adapt. The investment in this facility demonstrates confidence in the future of the Irish dairy sector and is indicative of the resolve of the industry to meet the competitive challenges of the market place head on".

Date Released: 16 July 2009