The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, visited the Irish Distillers' distillery in Midleton, Co. Cork today, to mark the E100 million investment at the facility by Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard.
The company announced the expansion at the end of last year, in response to the continued growth of Jameson worldwide. In the year to end June 2011, a total of 3.4 million cases of Jameson were sold. The Distillery is now operating at full capacity and, in order to cater for future forecasted growth, an expansion is necessary, the company said.
The Taoiseach's visit also marked the 20th anniversary of the Jameson Experience, the Jameson visitor centre in Midleton, which has welcomed in excess of two million visitors since it first opened its doors in 1992.
As part of the investment, sixty manufacturing and technical jobs will be created, thirty in the Midleton Distillery, and a further thirty in the Fox and Geese bottling plant in Dublin, bringing the company's total employee numbers in Ireland to 560. Separately, up to 250 jobs will result from the construction process. There will also be a significant benefit to the local economy. The Distillery currently spends in excess of E60m annually on cereals, energy, capital projects and payroll in the local economy.
The expansion, which is due to take place over the next 24 months, will benefit from significant energy and water use efficiencies as a result of the incorporation of the latest state of the art design techniques. As previously announced, a further E100m is being spent developing a new satellite maturation facility at Dungourney, Co. Cork.
Speaking at the event, The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, said: "This investment by Irish Distillers is the result of an exceptional performance by Jameson in the world-wide marketplace. Today marks a significant day in the future of Irish whiskey production, and the entire food and drinks export industry, as well as for the local economy here in Cork, which has greatly benefited from the presence of both the Distillery and the Jameson Experience Visitors Centre. By taking advantage of a supportive and stable economic environment Irish brands can continue to increase exports worldwide. The success of the Distillery here in Midleton, and its Visitors Centre is to be commended and I wish the company every success with its expansion plans."
Anna Malmhake, CEO, Irish Distillers commented, "This is a fantastic day for Irish Distillers - and for Irish business. The E100 million investment in Midleton, the home of Irish whiskey production, is a reflection of the growing international success of Jameson, and the future potential of our entire Irish Whiskey portfolio. With a tradition dating back to 1780, Jameson has been distilled in the Midleton distillery since 1975 and we are delighted to confirm our commitment to this tradition, and at the same time, we continue to embrace progress and to deliver new and innovative expressions of Irish Whiskey."