July 15, 2020
Investment will add 30% production capacity to cheese making plant
Ornua, Ireland’s largest premium dairy cooperative, has announced a major expansion of its Ornua Ingredients North America division with a $10 million investment upgrading its Hilbert, Wisconsin cheese ingredients operation.
The facility, located in the heart of Wisconsin’s famous dairy country, 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.
Ornua Ingredients North America operates two cheese-making facilities: the Hilbert plant and another in Byron, Minnesota.
Ornua Ingredients North America specialises in producing customized, functional cheese products for major US food manufacturing and foodservice customers. The division is a global leader in functional cheese solutions for applications in the meat, frozen meals, egg dishes, soups and sauces, bakery and pizza cheese categories; last year the business supplied cheese for more than 50 million pizzas. 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 expansion plans for Hilbert will add a further 22,000 square feet of warehousing and cooling infrastructure to the operation, unlocking an additional 30% growth in production capacity.
Construction of the site’s new infrastructure is being carried out by Wisconsin building firm Bayland Construction and is expected to be completed in February 2021.
Commenting on the investment, 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, said: “Ornua Ingredients’ core ethos revolves around creating and maintaining long-term partnerships with our customers through innovation, best-in-class technical expertise and a true spirit of collaboration that delivers functional cheeses that meet the demands of brands and consumers. 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.”