Our commitment to innovation touches everything we do. It’s what inspired the Open Source® Programme we’ve rolled out across our 4,800 farms, and has been the driving force behind our various pricing and volatility models. But those initiatives would be worth little if our ingredients weren’t of such an exceptional quality. That’s why we stay at the forefront of ingredient innovation by investing in our people, processes and infrastructure.
Our ecosystem and infrastructure
Ireland is home to a highly sophisticated network of bodies involved in research, development, and advancements in food technology. We’re a key player in that ‘ecosystem’, working with the likes of the Food for Health Ireland (FHI) technology centre, the Irish government’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).
Alongside these bodies, our ambition as part of the Food Harvest 2020 initiative is to develop a smart Irish dairy agri-economy while realising a national target to increase milk production by more than 50%. The infrastructure we have as a business plays a major role in our ability to drive ingredient innovation in this context. This includes:
- Our Glanbia Innovation Centre in Kilkenny, featuring a laboratory and development pilot plant
- Glanbia Technical Centres at our Ballyragget and Virginia processing facilities, featuring laboratories and pilot plants
- The state-of-the-art Moorepark Technology Ltd pilot plant and research facility, in which we’re the second largest stakeholder, behind The Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Teagasc)
- Access to the wider innovation infrastructure available in key hubs internationally through Glanbia PLC
Innovations across our ingredients
But it’s not just infrastructure that we invest in. We’re big believers in innovation being driven by the quality of our people and the way that we collaborate with customers. That’s why our customers are assigned teams to work with – from application, process and product development technologists up to technical managers to support delivery based on specific briefs.
It’s relationships such as these that see us repeatedly record success through innovation, including:
- Advancements in the next generation of milk protein concentrate/isolate solutions
- Going into full production with a new whey protein concentrate ingredient for infant nutrition, having invested €21m in whey protein isolate production at Ballyragget in 2012
- Continuing to make an award-winning impact as a major force and noted innovator in the cheese market
This commitment to innovation is nothing new. In fact, you need only look at GII’s leadership in the enriched milk powder (EMP) market for a story of 30 years of successful, innovative practice. Our position as the market leader in EMP is based on continuous product tweaks and advancements to create different blends and formulations according to local requirements.
This has seen GII make a major impact in the affordable nutrition solutions we export to customers in Africa and the Middle East. And, as our business model moves to more value-added products such as clinical infant and sports nutrition powders, this commitment to innovation will remain resolute – starting with production at our new, state-of-the-art Nutritional Ingredients plant at Belview.