Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.42 28 Mar 2019


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Drinks giant Coca-Cola is considering building a dairy processing plant in Cork.

Senior executives in the company have held a number of meetings in Ireland in recent months to learn about the Irish dairy sector, according to the Irish Farmers Journal.

They have also visited Teagasc Moorepark in Cork and the Dairy Processing Technology Centre (DPTC) at the University of Limerick.

The company is increasingly looking to diversify away from sugary drinks, and has been working closely with the IDA to potentially establish a dairy facility here.

In recent years, countries such as Ireland, the UK and Mexico have introduced sugar taxes in a bid to curb obesity levels.

Coca-Cola first launched its Fairlife milk brand in 2015, which costs twice as much as regular liquid milk and contains 50% more protein and 30% less sugar.

Coca-Cola Coca-Cola's Fairlife milk products | Image: © Fairlife

It invested €75m in 2018 to build a new Fairlife processing facility in Ontario, Canada.

But it has yet to bring its milk brand to European consumers.

In the US, the company sources milk direct from Fair Oaks Farms, a 30,000-cow dairy farm in Indiana.

But it is not clear if Coca-Cola plans to buy milk direct from Irish farmers.

Irish Farmers Journal reporter Lorcan Allen told Vincent Wall on Newstalk Breakfast: "I've heard rumblings over the last number of weeks that Coca-Cola were looking at an announcement here in Ireland, and the more I looked into it I was surprised at the extent of how many meetings they've actually held here in Ireland.

"Senior executives from Atlanta have been over to Ireland to learn about the Irish dairy industry, the structure of the industry in terms of our family farms and the capabilities.

"What I do know is that they're really taking a strong look at our R&D capabilities as a dairy sector.

"They're not going to be producing a very basic dairy commodity product, they're looking at producing an added value fortified product with real science".


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Coca-Cola Cork Dairy Processing Plant Dairy Sector Fairlife Fairlife Milk Ireland

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