DEFRA chairman visits Glanbia

David Simpson MP with Neil Parish during a recent visit to Glanbia
David Simpson MP with Neil Parish during a recent visit to Glanbia

The Chair of the DEFRA Select Committee Mr Neil Parish MP has made a visit to Glanbia Cheese processing plant in Magheralin following an invitation from local MP Mr David Simpson.

Glanbia are Europe’s leading cheese manufacturer and recent investment within the organisation has seen the continuing success of the local organisation.

Following the visit Mr Paul Vernon, Chief Executive of Glanbia Cheese commented: “It was a pleasure to host the EFRA MPs to the Magheralin site. We are proud to be involved in the processing of circa 20% of the milk produced in Northern Ireland and to show the MP’s at first hand the investments that the company is making in order to meet increased demands for its cheese products in both the domestic and export markets.”

DEFRA Committee member, David Simpson, thanked Mr Parish for his visit and praised Glanbia for their efforts to drive local recruitment and build a sustainable industry within Northern Ireland.

“It was an honour to welcome Mr Parish to Northern Ireland and to show him at first-hand how Northern Ireland’s industry are inputting onto the world stage. Whilst the success of the industry was clear, we did not shy from listening to barriers that continue to hamper the growth of Glanbia and the wider concerns of Northern Ireland’s dairy sector. The challenges facing the global cheese industry stem right back to the well documented crisis within our dairy sector. The message is clear, we need strong leadership and a strategic vision to overcome the barriers placed before us.

“As we enter ‘Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink 2016’, Glanbia Cheese is just one example of the unique food heritage we have in our province. I want to pay tribute to the Glanbia team for the strides they have taken to secure long term career prospects for young people in the local area. During the visit we spoke to a number of employees and listened to their experiences of working in an industry that is providing mozzarella cheese to consumer’s right around the world.

“Following the visit, both Neil and I met with the Chief Executive and an agreement was made to utilise our positions on the DEFRA Committee to support both the work of Glanbia and the Northern Ireland dairy industry. I look forward to witnessing the continued growth of Glanbia and I wish them every success as they seek to grow and invest.”