Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) has confirmed that ‘significant optimisation work’ has taken place at its new Belview plant to ensure the production of infant formula grade milk powders this year.

GII’s state of-the-art nutritional ingredients plant at Belview completed its first season in October 2015 having processed 311m litres of milk, producing 36,500t of powder products.

In an update to suppliers on the anniversary of milk quota abolition, GII said all product types were successfully manufactured – Whole Milk Powder (WMP), Skim Milk Powder (SMP), Enriched Milk Powder (EMP), Skim Milk Concentrate (SMC) and Cream.

Glanbia said the winter period at Belview afforded the opportunity for significant optimisation work to be completed across the Plant following its first production season.

Considerable progress has been made in gaining all-important approvals for the supply of infant nutrition products and we are pleased that production of commercial volumes has now commenced, it said.

“We have worked very collaboratively with our strategic customers on delivering this facility to the standard required for ingredients into internationally recognised Infant Formula brands” said Nick Whelan, Commercial Director for GII.

“It is rewarding for all involved to see this now come to fruition,” he said.

According to GII, 2016 will see the facility deliver on its first full year of commercialised production for infant formula grade milk powders.

Glanbia supplies

At the time of quota removal, GII was processing 1.8 billion litres of milk or 30% of Ireland’s milk pool.

GII says its milk suppliers have produced 22% more milk over the nine-month period from April – December 2015 versus the same period in 2014 with 85% of its farmers having expanded, and GII has processed 25% more milk by taking in-house some of the volumes sold out in previous years.

While it says the inclement weather in recent weeks has limited the ability to maximise farm output, current calving numbers indicate a considerable increase for 2016, which has already been reflected in GII’s January – February volumes which have increased by about 20% over 2015.