Minister Coveney opens new IDB office and packaging plant in Algeria

September 26, 2011

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, and Kevin Lane, CEO of the Irish Dairy Board (IDB) today opened the IDB’s representative office in Oran, Algeria. In addition a new dedicated state of the art value added dairy packaging plant for Kerrygold has been commissioned.

These developments mark the first in a series of international expansions by the IDB in the coming years as it develops routes to market for Irish dairy products consistent with its strategic growth plans and the ambitious targets set out in the Irish Government’s Food Harvest 2020 Report.

The new representative office will provide an enhanced in-market presence in Algeria as well as a critical base from which to develop and extend the IDB’s footprint in North Africa - a market of almost 200 million consumers.

The Kerrygold range of Irish dairy products has grown consistently since its launch in Algeria three years ago. Comprising 35 million consumers, Algeria is already the IDB’s second largest market for cheese. The new facility has the capacity to pack 4,000 tonnes of Kerrygold product per annum, with plans to further develop this in the coming years as the IDB develops its market presence and Irish milk production grows.

The plant will add further value to a range of Irish milk powder products which will be marketed under the Kerrygold brand. The plant complements the IDB’s existing in-market distribution team and further strengthens its position in the market. It will provide increased flexibility and expands the range of Kerrygold product available to Algerian consumers.

Speaking at the opening of the new facility, Simon Coveney, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, complimented IDB on its initiative:

"Opening this facility in Algeria demonstrates a commitment to developing the enormous market potential for Irish Dairy Products in Algeria and elsewhere in North Africa. It shows ambition and foresight and is consistent with the 50% dairy expansion target in Food Harvest 2020. I hope that in the fullness of time the bridges that the iconic Kerrygold brand can build in this region will be a foundation for further trade development for the Irish Agri Food sector generally".

Kevin Lane, CEO said, "The Irish Dairy Board has been exporting to Algeria for almost 15 years. It has proven a stable and robust market that has grown consistently to become our second largest market for cheese worldwide. Through strong commercial relationships with Algeria and by opening a representative office in Oran we are demonstrating our commitment to enhancing these business relationships and expanding the Kerrygold brand range of dairy products. This investment in Algeria is in line with our stated objective of growing the IDB’s presence in emerging markets not least given the expected expansion of Irish dairy output after the removal of milk quota restrictions in 2015."