Ireland-based Ornua opened the doors to its new, €30 million, state-of-the-art cheese production facility in Ávila, Spain. The new facility was built on a former Ornua cheese manufacturing site that was destroyed by a fire.
The 35,000-ton mozzarella and pizza cheese facility, with plans to increase to 70,000 tons, enhances Ornua’s pizza cheesemaking capacity by supplying enough cheese to produce over 100 million pizzas a year.
The re-opening of the Ávila facility also marked the creation of Ornua Ingredients Europe, which brings Ornua’s Spain and UK Ingredients businesses together. The new division supplies over 75,000 tons of high-quality cheese and dairy powder ingredients to food manufacturers, quick-service restaurants and pizza customers.
The rebuild of the facility, which employs over 120 people, included a major expansion and processing technology upgrade, including an R&D Centre of Excellence, which features a pilot plant and innovation kitchen dedicated to developing pizza cheese and cheese ingredients. It also features individual quick-freezing capability, an in-line cooling system and the latest technology to produce pizza cheese ropes for stuffed crust pizza.
“Today’s 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,” says John Jordan, chief executive officer. “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 foodservice customers. Our new Avila R&D Centre of Excellence becomes the tenth 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.”