Representatives of Irish dairy cooperative Glanbia, the Irish government and Royal A-ware gave the go-ahead on June 22, 2022 for the construction of a state-of-the-art, sustainable cheese factory in Belview, Kilkenny, Ireland. The current Minister for Trade and Employment and as of October Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar and Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Charlie McConalogue started the construction of the factory with a symbolic 'first spade'.
The cheese factory, which is being built by Kilkenny Cheese Ltd, a joint venture between family-owned Dutch dairy producer Royal A-Ware and Glanbia Co-op, will be ready in 2024 to produce over 50,000 tonnes of continental cheese per year, including Edam, Gouda and Emmental cheese varieties. The production facility will utilise approximately 450 million litres of milk from Glanbia milk suppliers each year. The cheese will be sold worldwide by Royal A-ware.
The new facility at Belview will support the incomes of over 4,500 farm families. Over 400 jobs will be created during construction. Once opened, the factory will offer high-skill opportunities with 80 jobs. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “It’s an honour to be in Belview today to turn the sod on this brand new €200m continental cheese facility. The UK’s decision to leave the European Union was a seismic event for Ireland’s agrifood sector and the over 163,000 people it employs here.Our business owners and farmers have risen to every challenge in the past number of years, and there have been many, and have worked incredibly hard to protect jobs and even grow business. I believe this facility is a perfect example of that resilience, that flexibility and determination. It’s a huge boost for the south-east of Ireland.
Jan Anker, Royal A-ware CEO: “When we first announced our partnership with Glanbia Co-op in 2019, we said we were taking another step towards achieving our goals of working with strategic partners to build innovative and sustainable agri-food chains and offering our customers an enhanced product portfolio. Today’s milestone will see our company bring high-quality continental cheese produced through a local supply chain into the marketplace. We look forward to this great new facility opening in 2024.”