The Ornua board has approved a €40m investment that would allow for higher capacity and more product lines at Kerrygold Park in Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

However, there are a number of hurdles to jump before development starts, including planning permission. If the development goes ahead it will create another 30 jobs at the facility. It is likely to be a number of years before this development is operational if it gets the go ahead.

Brexit plans

Ornua sells a large chunk of cheese and butter manufactured by dairy processors around Ireland. Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal this week, chief executive John Jordan said Ornua is working hard at mitigating some of the logistical issues that could create bottlenecks in supply from Ireland to the UK.

“We have secured product into the UK for the first few months of the year to ensure continuity of supply to our customers. Deal or no deal, we are going to be trading with a non-EU country so we have hired additional staff and are training them on the practical measures associated with trading with a non-EU country.”

That is too much for any one part of the supply chain to carry

If a no-deal Brexit is imposed and WTO tariffs come on the table, Jordan estimates that there will be €100m in additional costs and that will look something like a 50% increase in the cost per unit of product. “That is too much for any one part of the supply chain to carry, so the cost implications will likely be split across the supply chain. A soft deal looks like an additional 8% to 10% in administrative costs alone.”

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