Ornua, Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products, is celebrating the official opening of its new, €30 million, state-of-the-art cheese production facility in Ávila, Spain. The new facility is built on the former Ornua cheese manufacturing site that burned down two years ago. The 35,000-ton cheese facility — which can increase to 70,000 tons in future — enhances Ornua’s pizza cheese-making capacity and secures its position as a world-leading pizza cheese supplier. Currently, Ornua provides enough cheese for over 100 million pizzas each year.

The rebuilt facility, which employs over 120 people, includes a major expansion and processing technology upgrade.  The Ávila facility features an R&D Centre of Excellence with a pilot plant and innovation kitchen dedicated to developing the next generation of pizza cheese and cheese ingredients for the $130 billion global pizza market. Its technology features the new Individual Quick-Freezing capability, an in-line cooling system, and the latest technology to produce pizza cheese ropes for the growing “stuffed crust” sector of the market.

The reopening of the Ávila facility also heralded the creation of Ornua Ingredients Europe which unites Ornua’s Spanish and U.K. Ingredients businesses. The new division is a leading supplier of quality, nutritious cheese, and dairy powder ingredients, supplying over 75,000-ton of added value ingredients to food manufacturing, QSR, and pizza customers.

“(The recent) opening of our new cheese facility here in Ávila is fully in line with Ornua’s growth strategy of investing in world-class strategic production facilities to secure long-term returns for Irish dairy farmers,” said John Jordan, CEO of Ornua. “This major investment will play a key role in enhancing our cheese ingredients capacity and capabilities. It will reinforce our position as a leading, large scale supplier of high-quality dairy ingredients to many leading Spanish, European, and global food manufacturing and food-service customers. Our new Ávila R&D Centre of Excellence becomes the 10th innovation center in our international network, which will ensure that Ornua has the capability to support our customers at the forefront of the rapidly changing dairy ingredients market.”

Commenting on the opening of the facility, Irish Ambassador to Spain, Sile Maguire said, “The new Ornua facility in Ávila reflects Irish and Spanish commitment to excellence and innovation in the food industry, and to our shared confidence in this vital sector.”

Led by newly appointed Managing Director Joan Bombardo, Ornua Ingredients Europe incorporates Ávila and Ornua’s UK Ingredients businesses, giving it a turnover in excess of €300 million; four well-invested processing and NPD facilities and 600 experienced and committed staff.  Headquartered at its Nantwich UK facility, Ornua Ingredients Europe will have the scale and resources, combined with the agility and flexibility, to identify and meet the ever-changing needs of its customers and their consumers.

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