Irish company opens Saudi Arabian cheese plant

Ornua's new factory will act as a hub for the lucrative Middle East North African region...

Ornua, Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products, has opened a new cheese manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia.

The state-of-the-art Riyadh plant is the result of €20 million investment in the country, which is the fifth largest dairy importer in the world.

The Saudi cheese market is valued at more than €1 billion a year, with the nation importing some 400,000 tonnes of dairy produce.

Ornua's facility will manufacture white cheese for the Saudi Arabian market and provide a central hub for accessing the high growth dairy markets in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.

Kevin Lane, CEO of Ornua, said: "Today’s opening of the Al Wazeen facility is strategically very important to Ornua as it provides the business with a new route to market for Irish dairy.

"We now have a manufacturing and trading hub in place to service the high growth dairy market of Saudi Arabia and our growing MENA customer base.

"The ability to innovate and adapt to market needs is key to developing opportunities for Irish dairy.

"Our partnership with Teagasc is a great example of how innovative dairy technologies can create new ways of producing dairy products for global markets".