Carbery Group expansion complete in Cork for mozzarella and grilling cheese

Carbery Group expansion complete in Cork for mozzarella and grilling cheese
Jason Hawkins, CEO at Carbery Group photographed with Chairman TJ Sullivan, CFO Colm Leen, COO John Holland and Cheddar Cheese Manager Conor O’Donovan with the new Carbery Dairy mozzarella in Carbery’s new cheese facility in Ballineen, West Cork. Photo: Don MacMonagle Photo: Don MacMonagle

The Carbery Group’s expansion at their Headquarters in Ballineen, West Cork, is complete. The production of new cheese varieties (mozzarella and grilling cheese) is now underway.

Supported by a €78m investment in the new facilities, the cheese range will be sold in existing and new markets with a particular focus on growing markets in Asia.

Significant investment

CEO of Carbery Group Jason Hawkins said of the expansion: “Our cheese diversification strategy has been in the works now for a number of years, so it’s great to see all our planning and efforts come to fruition.

“It’s a significant investment for us, in financial terms, but also in terms of our strategy, our people and market research. Our teams across the business have been working extremely hard on this project and we are really looking forward to bringing our products to new markets and returning value on this investment to our farmer shareholders. This diversification will create new markets and value for our West Cork milk suppliers.”

Specialist equipment

The expansion in Ballineen is supported by a new state of the art facility, with specialist equipment from New Zealand, Italy, UK, Denmark and Minnesota in the US. The Group will initially be focusing exports on customers in Asia, including China and Japan, and mainland Europe.

John Holland, Chief Operating Officer of the group, who has overseen the expansion project at Ballineen, spoke of his excitement about the opportunities ahead. “We are extremely proud of the cheese we produce in Ballineen and the quality and flexibility we offer to our customers. This step forward will only enhance our capabilities into the future.

Growth strategy

“We have been implementing a growth strategy for a number of years now to diversify our outputs, and therefore expand our customer base. We believe that our heritage and expertise in dairy, combined with our dedicated people, talented team of researchers, food scientists and cheese technologists enables us to develop products that will excite our existing and new customers.”

Vision and confidence

Chairman of Carbery Group, TJ Sullivan said:  “This is a significant investment for the Board of Carbery and our farmer suppliers, and it has required vision for the future and confidence in ourselves and the quality of our milk supply. It’s great to see the facility operational, and especially to see some good news for West Cork at the end of a difficult year for everyone.”

Dubliner Cheese and Carbery Cracker

Best known for producing Dubliner Cheese and Carbery Cracker for the Irish domestic market as well as cheese for export under the Ornua brands, Carbery Group currently produces 55,000 tonnes of cheese annually, or 25% of all cheese made in Ireland. This is set to increase to 64,000 tonnes with the new expansion now in place. John Holland explains “Our new production facilities allow us to offer pasta filata, including mozzarella and grilling cheese, to the market. We are continuing to supply our wide range of cheddar types.”