UK dairy company Ornua Foods to pump US$3.85m into capacity upgrade of cheese plant

UK – Ornua Foods, a leading dairy company in the UK has announced plans of investing up to £3 million (about US$3.85 million) in capacity expansion of its Leek cheese processing facility located in Staffordshire County, United Kingdom.

The investment according to the Irish owned dairy company, will be used to add new cutting and packing equipment and to install an additional high-speed cheese slicing line.

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Overall, Ornua says the investment in capacity upgrade will result in an additional 7,000 tonnes of capacity bringing total annual production to over 110,000 tonnes.

According to Ornua Foods UK, the investment comes at a time when it is experiencing strong growth in both its branded and own label cheeses, with sales through major UK retailers increasing by 15% to date in 2020.

Ornua Foods UK produces the Pilgrims Choice cheddar brand, which has reportedly grown by 25% in the last 52 weeks.

 In addition, the company supplies own label cheddars to retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Iceland.

 “Our latest £3 million investment at Leek will further enhance our cheese packing capacity and capabilities delivering further improvements in yield and efficiencies,” Bill Hunter, managing director at Ornua Foods UK.

Hunter further noted that the new investment will allow the company respond to growing consumer demand for cheese in sliced and grated formats.

Last month, Ornua Foods launched a new packaging solution which it said will deliver a saving of over 40% of plastic per pack of Pilgrims Choice cheese.

With the new packaging, Ornua projects to reduce its total annual plastic production by about 83 tonnes.

“Ornua Foods UK’s success is based upon our commitment to delivering a comprehensive range of high-quality products to our retail customers in the most consistent and efficient manner possible,” Bill Hunter said.

Hunter further noted the new investment in Leek comes at a time when the company is experiencing strong business growth.

“We believe our current investment and that planned in future years both at Leek and in support of our Pilgrims Choice and Kerrygold brands will continue to give the company a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

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