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Ireland-Based Ornua Plans $10 Million Expansion at Hilbert, Wisconsin, Cheese Plant

07/28/2020
Ornua, Ireland’s largest premium dairy cooperative, will make a $10 million investment and major expansion of its North America division with the upgrading of its cheese production center in Hilbert, Wisconsin.

Expansion plans for Hilbert will add 22,000 square feet of warehousing and cooling infrastructure to the operation.

According to company officials, located in the heart of Wisconsin’s famous dairy country, the facility already boasts some of the most advanced dairy processing equipment in the US dairy sector and includes a state-of-the-art innovation centre that provides functional cheese solutions to Ornua’s US food ingredient and foodservice customers.

Bernard Condon, Managing Director of Ornua Ingredients, said, “The latest round of investment to support the ambitious growth plans for Ornua Ingredients North America is a further $10 million. Ornua Ingredients North America have had great success in partnering with blue chip customers, delivering innovative cheese solutions and as these customers grow their business, we are creating additional capacity to serve them.

“This latest round of investment is consistent with the investments made since Ornua acquired Thiel Cheese and it is a business that will see further investment over the coming years. Hilbert is a core component of Ornua Ingredients North America’s ability to create value on behalf of our coop members and generations of Irish dairy farming families.”

Rick Pedersen, President, Ornua Ingredients North America, added, “The capacity and flexibility enabled by this latest investment will allow us to deliver the scale and breadth of product portfolio required to maintain our position as the leading partner in our customers’ ambitious growth plans.”

Ornua Ingredients North America specializes in producing customized, functional cheese products for major food manufacturing and foodservice customers. This latest investment is a result of a period of exceptional multi-year growth in the division, with 2019 reporting a record year with double-digit growth.

The company operates two cheese-making facilities which employ more than 265 associates in Hilbert and Byron, Minnesota. Construction of the site’s new infrastructure is expected to be completed in February 2021.

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