CARBERY has secured a €35m loan from the European Investment Bank which it has described as a major vote of confidence in their agri-foods business.
The loan will enable the expansion and diversification of the Ballineen based international ingredients company and will support the construction of its new €78m manufacturing plant.
Work is underway on this plant designed to allow the company Brexit-proof its operations and produce mozzarella for export to a range of international markets. Production is expected to begin early next year.
Product and market diversification was always on the cards but in the context of Brexit it became more imperative and over the
past two years, they’ve worked closely with Irish
Governmental and industry bodies, to ensure that Carbery, and supplier shareholders are as well prepared and supported as is possible.
The 12-year EIB loan to Carbery Group was formally agreed during a visit to the company’s West Cork headquarters by Andrew McDowell, vice-president of the European Investment Bank, responsible for agriculture and lending operations in Ireland.
This loan is the first direct EIB support for investment in the Irish cooperative sector in 45 years and the first Irish investment under the EIB’s dedicated streamlined agriculture financing programme.
Mr McDowell said: ‘Ireland is home to world class agriculture and food. The European Investment Bank is pleased to support new strategic investment by Carbery that demonstrates clear vision and resolve to continued international growth whilst addressing uncertainties related to Brexit.
‘It has been a privilege to visit Ballineen to formally sign the new €35m EIB loan and see at first-hand how this financing will transform Carbery’s headquarters. Once complete, the new facility will significantly expand cheese production using milk from farms across West Cork.’
Jason Hawkins, chief executive officer of the Carbery Group, added: ‘Our latest investment is key for harnessing new international export opportunities and diversifying our product range.
The €35m EIB backing, together with continued funding support from our other banking partners AIB, BOI and Rabobank, will accelerate growth for Carbery and secure new markets for Irish dairy farmers.
‘That Carbery has secured the first ever European Investment Bank financing for an Irish agri foods business is a vote of confidence in Carbery and Irish agriculture.’
Other new investments in Munster recently supported by the EIB include expansion of the Port of Cork at Ringaskiddy, a new dental school, increased student accommodation and improved research and teaching facilities at University Hospital Waterford, University Hospital Kerry and South Tipperary General Hospital.