New $12 million Irish/U.S. Dairy Manufacturing Facility Hopes for More Than “American Cheese”

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The Irish Dairy Board (IDB), an organization responsible for supplying and distributing 60 percent of Ireland’s dairy products, hopes to strengthen its current reach to more than 100 countries with its recent launch of a Wisconsin, U.S. cheese plant.According to the Irish Farmer’s Journal, “The final stage of the investment was announced this morning with the opening of a $12 million cheese manufacturing facility. The plant is part of the IDB’s Thiel Cheese and Ingredients division.”

The deal is linked to the final phase of the co-op’s $80 million investment in U.S. dairy ingredients. The manufacturing facility will primarily supply distribution opportunities for the Irish product casein – a common protein found in processed dairy products.

“The IDB is an agri-food co-operative which markets and sells dairy products on behalf of its members. The IDB has sales of approximately $3 billion and employs some 3,100 people globally,” the Irish Central reports.

The Irish Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, joined the operators at the plant’s opening as part of his week-long U.S. trade tour. Coveney and other Irish officials believe this U.S. deal will pave the way to a strong market for future agricultural ventures.

Analysts expect the facility will have a direct impact on the €500 million Irish agri-food industry, providing at least 40 percent boost for casein alone.

The Irish Times notes, “Through its extensive US customer base, the board hopes the investment will open up further opportunities for Irish dairy products. The IDB is an agri-food co-operative which markets and sells dairy products on behalf of its members.”

Currently, IDB annually makes around $130 million in its supplies of cheese ingredients to more than 100 U.S. food companies. The high-tech facility should help the IDB ramp up production to fulfill the needs of its U.S. customer base and beyond.

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