Lakeland Dairies has commenced £27m processing expansion
Cross-border dairy co-operative Lakeland Dairies has started work on a £27m expansion of milk powder processing operations in Cavan.
Lakeland collects milk from dairy farms across 15 counties, north and south.
The farmer-owned business also operates a dairy food service manufacturing plant in Newtownards, Co Down, where it has completed a new £8m global logistics and distribution centre.
The latest expansion at Baileboro, Co Cavan is to meet increasing global dairy demand. Lakeland produces 80,000 tonnes of milk powders a year - which will rise to 130,000 tonnes on completion of the project in 2016.
The co-operative also produces 24,000 tonnes of butter on the same site.
Lakeland Dairies chairman Alo Duffy said: "Lakeland Dairies is focused on the creation of a bright and sustainable future for all of our milk producers.
"This includes investments in modern and streamlined plants which guarantee an expanded milk processing capacity and will provide the flexibility to meet global market needs."
Lakeland chief executive Michael Hanley said growth in its ingredients was being driven by consumer trends and developments.
"Over the past five years we have transformed our processing capabilities and have also underpinned our future export potential with new global logistics facilities in Newtownards.
"The expansion of our operations at Bailieboro will create further advantages for all of our milk producers, north and south.
"In particular, we see continuing opportunity in the areas of infant formulae, dairy proteins and health related nutritional products, among other categories, where we are a globally recognised leading supplier of the highest quality milk powders."
The expansion by Lakeland follows news of merger talks between Town of Monaghan and Ballyrashane co-operative dairies in Monaghan and Co Antrim respectively.