A €6m investment by Aurivo in its milk processing facility in Killygordon has been unveiled.
The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh unveiled the upgraded facility which will double the processing capacity of the milk plant.
The plant produces a variety of fresh milk products for well-known national and regional milk brands such as Donegal Creameries, Connacht Gold and Organic for Us. The investment allows the Killygordon milk plant to significantly reduce on-site fossil fuel consumption by some 80%.
Mr McHugh said: “As Brexit comes nearer to reality, it is a significant boost for Donegal and the North-West that Aurivo is investing for the future, particularly in its facilities at Killygordon where it processes fresh milk from suppliers in 14 counties on the Island of Ireland. I have always been a firm believer that we should refuse to be defined and investment of this scale with this kind of positive outlook is testament to that.”
“Aurivo is clearly combining a desire to make suppliers’ businesses as profitable and sustainable as possible with the companies own strategy of sustainable growth as a commercial co-operative. Aurivo is a business that is supporting 120 jobs in 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: “On behalf of the Board of Aurivo, I am very pleased to unveil this phase of our investment programme in Killygordon. This investment could not be possible but for our valued farmer suppliers across the midlands and north west 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. As a co-op, 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 milk supply over the coming years.”
In addition to the installation of a larger pasteuriser, separator and homogeniser and milk standardising equipment that increases hourly capacity by 80%, works as part of the investment programme at the Killygordon plant also include the installation of an advanced packaging device capable of packing 1.5 litre, 1.75 litre and 2 litre biopack cartons, which utilises 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 maximise the return to our member owners while maintaining a strong sustainable business.”