Ornua opens new pizza cheese facility in Spain

Ornua, Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products, has opened its new, €30 million, state-of-the-art cheese production facility in Ávila, Spain.

The new facility has been built on the former Ornua cheese manufacturing site, opening two years to the day since the site was destroyed by a fire. The 35,000-tonne mozzarella and pizza cheese facility has the potential to increase to 70,000-tonnes in the future.

The reopening of the Ávila facility also marked the creation of Ornua Ingredients Europe which brings Ornua’s Spanish and UK Ingredients businesses together. The new division is a supplier of high quality and nutritious cheese and dairy powder ingredients supplying over 75,000-tonnes of added value ingredients to food manufacturing, QSR and pizza customers.

The rebuild of the facility, which employs over 120 people, included a major expansion and processing technology upgrade. As a result, the Ávila facility will reinforce Ornua’s position as a major supplier of mozzarella and pizza cheese blends for both European and global pizza chains and play a major role in Ornua’s growth strategy of diversifying its product portfolio and building scale.

The Ávila site features a 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 provides a wide selection of mozzarella and mozzarella-based cheese blends which deliver great flavour, an excellent melted texture, superb coverage and stretch and an outstanding cooked appearance. It also features innovative 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.

John Jordan, Ornua CEO said: “The 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. 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 Avila R&D Centre of Excellence becomes the 10th innovation centre 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.”

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