Netherlands-based Royal A-ware Group and Glanbia Ireland have announced plans to enter a strategic partnership and construct a continental cheese manufacturing facility in Belview, Co Kilkenny, Ireland.

About €140m will be invested in building the facility, which will be commissioned in 2022.

“Investments like this cheese manufacturing facility in Belview are a critical response to the challenges posed by Brexit.”

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed said: “The agri-food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, supporting over 174,000 jobs across rural Ireland, from farms to food processing.

“Investments like this cheese manufacturing facility in Belview are a critical response to the challenges posed by Brexit, in terms of developing new products and new markets.”

Royal A-Ware Grou chief executive Jan Anker added: “With this announcement, Royal A-ware is taking another step towards achieving its goals of working with strategic partners to build efficient and sustainable supply chains and offering its customers an enhanced product portfolio.

“It also gives our company access to additional volumes of high-quality cheeses through a local dairy supply chain.”

The facility will have an annual production capacity of 450 million litres of milk.  Approximately 80 full-time jobs will be created. A further 100 temporary jobs will be created during the construction phase.

Milk used for production process on site will be sourced from local suppliers.

In July 2018, it was reported that a joint venture (JV) company comprising Glanbia and Leprino Foods known as Glanbia Cheese would build a new mozzarella cheese manufacturing facility in County Laois, Ireland, with an investment of €130m.

In February 2018, Glanbia has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Glanbia Co-operative Society (Society) to divest its 60% stake in Dairy Ireland to the the latter.