Ireland dishes out funds for dairy research

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk, Ireland

A range of development projects, from functional dairy proteins to
cheddar cheese, will benefit from a multi-million euro investment
in Ireland's dairy industry, the country's government has
announced.

More than €114m of government money will be given to 19 different development projects across Ireland's dairy industry as part of the government's AgriVision 2015 Action Plan. The ambitious scheme is intended to position Ireland to profit from growing market trends for added value products, as well as help the country's dairy firms enter new markets. Glanbia, for example, will get two handouts of around €9m, the first to help it increase added value cheese capacity and produce specialised dairy proteins for the food and nutrional sectors, and the second to improve its whey protein concentrate production. These are largely typical of the sorts of products chosen for funding by the government. Whey, cheese and nutrition are viewed by both industry and the European Commission as three strong growth areas of the European dairy sector, as it looks to reduce reliance on commodities. Other grants awarded in the Ireland initiative include €9.82m for Kerry Ingredients' demineralised whey project, largely aimed at infant formula, and €3m for Carbery Milk Products' functional dairy powder project, which includes installing a new spray dryer and evaporator. Rising demand for organic food also got a nod with a €3m award to Glenisk to improve organic milk and yoghurt output. And speciality cheese was represented with a €5m award to DairyGold, as well as €3m to J & L Grubb, maker of the well-known blue cheese, Cashel Blue. Grants have been awarded as part of the Dairy Investment Fund and are expected to generate capital investment of €286m in the Irish dairy industry. Plans for the funding were first outlined last August. With continued vision and leadership, the Irish dairy and wider food sector has the potential to become the brand and origin of choice with today's quality conscious consumer across the globe,"​ said Mary Coughlan, Ireland's minister for agriculture and food.

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