The company said Jarlsberg for the Norwegian market will still be produced in Norway, while the Irish plant will help TINE increase sales of the cheese in other markets.
TINE’s board said when the country’s export support scheme is phased out by 2020, export of Jarlsberg from Norway will be unprofitable.
Large annual capacity
TINE said the environmentally-friendly plant in Ireland will have the capacity to produce 20,000 tonnes of Jarlsberg a year, as the company looks to increase sales outside Norway.
TINE CEO Hanne Refsholt said, "TINE has considered different opportunities for export without subsidies, and concluded that exports from Norway in today's market situation will in no way be profitable.”
Refsholt said it is important for TINE to take care of the values the Norwegian farmer has built up internationally. The Jarlsberg brand accounts for a significant part of TINE's international turnover of NOK 2.9bn ($349m).
Cooperation with Dairygold
TINE's new facilities will be located in an area directly adjacent to dairy cooperative Dairygold’s plant in Mogeely, in Cork, Ireland.
The collaboration with Dairygold has lasted for more than 10 years, with TINE currently renting production capacity for Jarlsberg.
The new facility will rent utilities with Dairygold, such as heating, water, electricity, as well as waste filtration and shared environmentally friendly emissions.
Dairygold is also investing significantly in the project, according to TINE.
Atle Kjøl Jacobsen, vice president, TINE International, said Ireland was chosen because of the quality of raw materials and high agricultural expertise in the country.
Dairygold chairman James Lynch said the company is looking forward to supporting TINE in its efforts to increase international sales.
“I am confident that the proposed new Jarlsberg plant in Cork is only the start of the next phase of a long and fruitful collaboration," Lynch said.