LacPatrick Co-op has unveiled a 30,000 square feet state-of-the-art Dairy Technology Centre which it has described as one of the most innovative and modern facilities of its kind in the European dairy industry.
Costing in excess of £30m, the new facility at its Artigarvan plant houses a leading edge new Evaporation and Spray Drying Technology capable of making advanced dairy ingredients for LacPatrick’s rapidly expanding markets in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.
LacPatrick’s Chief Executive, Gabriel D’Arcy said the new Dairy Technology Centre would double the site’s capacity and has the potential to significantly increase the product portfolio and company turnover in the years ahead.
“This is one of the most exciting innovations and investments within the dairy sector and positions LacPatrick as one of the largest producers of dairy ingredients in the UK. Not only does it make us self-sufficient in terms of processing our own milk pool, but it means we can now also assist other processors with additional high end milk,” he said.
The new facility took 18 months to build and has created an additional 20 highly-skilled technical posts for the LacPatrick group, most of which will be based at Artigarvan, where more than 70 people are now employed.
Mr D’Arcy continued: “This cutting-edge investment is an important part of LacPatrick’s measured growth strategy and we envisage further major announcements during the next five year period as we consolidate our position as a leader within the Northern Ireland dairy industry.
“Given the uncertainty presented by Brexit, having three strategically-located, world-class facilities both north and south of the border positions us in a stronger competitive position to deal with any Brexit consequences.
“This market resilience is particularly important as LacPatrick is a local company with a growing global reach with our products being found on shelves throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland and beyond in places such as Africa, the Middle East, Far East and Australia,” Mr D’Arcy added.
The LP Dairy Technology Centre was officially opened with an event on Tuesday, September 12, which was attended by LacPatrick board members, employees, customers, suppliers and their families.