Co Tyrone dairy's new £30m 'Brexit-proof' centre
Irish dairy giant LacPatrick has unveiled a "Brexit-proofing" technology centre in Co Tyrone in a £30m investment creating 20 jobs.
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The site at Artigarvan near Strabane has now doubled its capacity, with a total workforce of 90, and will be able to make two new milk powder products for export.
LacPatrick was formed three years ago following a merger between Town of Monaghan Co-Operative - which had a long history of taking milk from Northern Ireland farmers - and Co Antrim's Ballyrashane Co-Operative.
Its investment has been supported by Danske Bank.
Chief executive Gabriel D'Arcy said: "The new dairy technology centre at Artigarvan will provide security of capacity for local dairy farmers producing milk to the highest standards. The plant provides long-term security to our supplier base and positions the business at the forefront of global dairy technologies.
"We are now able to produce two new lines of milk powder for international markets, with the dairy technology centre able to process milk all-year round."
Mr D'Arcy said the "core logistical risk of" Brexit has been mitigated by the Artigarvan expansion. As an exporter out of the UK, LacPatrick will be closely monitoring the trading agreements being negotiated by London.
Mr D'Arcy added: "We will be focused on driving product development, building relationships with processors seeking access to our technology and expanding our customer base in Asia and the Middle East.
"We have made a significant capital investment with the clear purpose of delivering a sustainable return to our suppliers over the coming months and years ahead."