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Coveney opens Irish Owned $80M Cheese Facility in US



Minister Simon Coveney today opened a new cheese manufacturing facility for the Irish Dairy Board in Thiel, Wisconsin. The new $12m R&D facility completes the final phase of an $80m expansion programme over 6 years. 

The Thiel facility is part of an Irish Dairy Board business which manufactures cheese and value added cheese based ingredients for US customers in the food ingredients and food service sectors. 

Speaking at the official opening, Minister Coveney said: “Dairy production in Ireland is on the cusp of a dramatic expansion following the abolition of quotas in 2015. The Irish Dairy Board, through this initiative, is helping to build a reputation for the Irish dairy sector in the US, a new and growing market.  Based on cutting edge technology, the research and innovation output from this facility can be applied to add value across the entire group.  This is exactly the kind of space the Irish food sector needs to be in.  I am proud that the Irish Dairy Board and the Irish food sector are making such an impact in a key market for Irish product.”

"The Irish Dairy Board, a farmer owned cooperative, should be proud of its achievement here today. This facility includes the most advanced dairy processing equipment in the US, and will provide world class innovation in the production of value added cheese solutions for over 100 US companies in the food space. "

The Minister pointed to the critical importance of developing new opportunities for Irish agri food companies in markets in the US and elsewhere: “This project is also about building the kind of new routes to market for Irish dairy products that will be essential if we are to develop the sector to its full potential.  Through this initiative the Irish Dairy Board is building scale and profile for our dairy sector and developing a valuable route to market for Irish casein which is a primary dairy protein.  With its investments in the US and elsewhere , the Irish Dairy Board is continuing to fly the flag around the world for the Irish dairy industry and is contributing to the development of a strong, growing and sustainable dairy sector in Ireland”.

The opening of this facility is part of a week long trade mission promoting Irish Food and Drink in the US, a market worth over €500m to Irish Agri Food exports. 


View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 92/2014 (pdf 538Kb) 

Date Released: 25 June 2014