The investment, which is an element of the coop’s €48m ($52.7m) capital investment program announced last year, will double the processing capacity of the milk plant, which produces a variety of fresh milk products for national and regional milk brands such as Donegal Creameries, Connacht Gold and Organic for Us.
The investment also allows the Killygordon milk plant to reduce on-site fossil fuel consumption by some 80%.
Ireland’s Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, said at the announcement, “As the uncertainties and implications of Brexit draw near and come into sharp reality, it is significant, noteworthy and encouraging that Aurivo is investing for future market opportunities, particularly in its facilities such as Killygordon that processes fresh milk from suppliers in 14 counties on the Island of Ireland.
“As well as looking to make it suppliers’ businesses as profitable and sustainable as possible, Aurivo, through this investment is also securing its own sustainable growth as a commercial cooperative – supporting the 120 jobs here at Killygordon, doubling production capacity to meet market opportunities, while also becoming more environmentally sustainable by significantly reducing the carbon emissions on the site.”
Pat Duffy, chairman of Aurivo said, “This investment could not be possible but for our valued suppliers in the northern half of Ireland. These are indeed challenging times for the Irish dairy sector and we are acutely conscious that in the event of a no deal Brexit, with dairy products being hit the hardest, the impact of tariff barriers and bureaucracy will have a hugely negative impact on farmers north of the border.
“As a coop, Aurivo is focused on making our suppliers’ businesses as profitable and sustainable as possible, and since Brexit became a reality in 2016, we have been developing plans to ensure that we can efficiently process and market Northern Ireland milk supply over the coming years.”
In addition to the installation of a larger pasteurizer, separator and homogenizer and milk standardizing equipment that increases hourly capacity by 80%, works as part of the investment program at the Killygordon plant also include the installation of a packaging device capable of packing 1.5-, 1.75- and 2-liter biopack cartons, which utilizes 75% less plastic. These new packs are fully recyclable using no fossil-based plastic.
Aaron Forde, CEO of Aurivo said, “As the second largest liquid milk processor in the country, this investment enhances and solidifies our market position. The increased capacity aligned with cost efficiencies and positive environmental impacts readies our Killygordon plant for long term sustainable growth and contributes significantly to Aurivo and its consumer foods business.
“This investment, along with others as part of our five-year growth strategy, works to ensure that all our efforts are directed to doing the best job possible to maximize the return to our member owners while maintaining a strong sustainable business.”