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Smith Officially Opens New Lakelands Milk Drying Plant

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today officially opened a new milk drying plant at Lakeland Dairies in Bailieboro, Co. Cavan.  This new state-of-the-art facility consolidates all of the Co-op's milk powder production in Bailieboro, allowing it to benefit from reduced processing costs and increased economies of scale.  The plant will be the largest and most modern non-whey milk drying facility in Europe.

The Minister said that "the development of the new plant was facilitated by a combination of Lakeland Dairies' own resources and innovation, and assistance from 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 processing sector and will play a key role in ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the dairy industry in Ireland.

Minister Smith took the opportunity to reiterate his determination to progress the implementation of the recent Food Harvest 2020 report. He said that the target of a 50 per cent increase in milk production is both ambitious and achievable, and that "if it is to be realised, and if significant growth in exports and employment are to follow, we must focus all our efforts on implementing the recommendations in Food Harvest 2020. I for one am absolutely committed to this task, and I expect the same commitment from the industry".

Date Released: 04 October 2010