Two Offaly farms have been recognised for their excellence at the Lakeland Dairies Milk Quality Awards.
Joseph & Paul Molloy from Leamore, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, won the inaugural Lakeland Dairies Sustainability Award for outstanding commitment to sustainable milk production, based on measures including carbon footprint, biodiversity, water management and milk quality results.
Meanwhile, Adrian Kelly from Cloghan, Co. Offaly, was the overall runner-up in the 0–500,000 litres milk production category of the Lakeland Dairies Milk Quality Awards.
At the Lakeland Dairies Milk Quality Awards, dairy farmers from both sides of the border won top honours for the exceptionally high quality of milk produced on their farms. The awards publicly recognise the achievements of Lakeland Dairies milk suppliers who are committed to efficiency and quality in all aspects of their milk production.
Winning a milk quality award is an exceptional achievement. The winners emerged from among over 2,000 milk producers supplying a total milk pool of 1.2 Bn litres.
The awards were presented by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., together with Lakeland Dairies Chairman Alo Duffy and Chief Executive, Michael Hanley.
Francis Goodman, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, won the 500,000+ litres milk production category. The runner-up in this category was Nigel Trenier, Belturbet, Co. Cavan.
Terence McGovern, Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan, won the 0 – 500,000 litres milk production category, closely followed by runner-up Adrian Kelly, Cloghan, Co. Offaly.
In the category for New Entrants to Dairy Farming, G.D. Young from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, and Raymond, James and Graham Harrison, Hillsborough, Co. Down both won awards for exceptional milk quality.
Joseph & Paul Molloy, Leamore, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, won the inaugural Lakeland Dairies Sustainability Award for outstanding commitment to sustainable milk production, based on measures including carbon footprint, biodiversity, water management and milk quality results.
Seamus & Gerard Quinn, Ardboe, Co. Tyrone won the Lakeland Dairies Supreme Milk Quality Award and also won the overall Northern Ireland Milk Quality Award.
The overall Northern Ireland Runners-Up were Keith & Robin Crawford, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone
Congratulating the winners, Minister Creed said:
“The Lakeland Dairies milk quality awards encourage excellence in dairy farming. The high quality of our dairy products is one of the Irish food industry’s key selling points. Excellence in dairy farming is difficult to achieve and to sustain on an ongoing basis. It requires huge commitment and it places significant demands on dairy producers."
"The cornerstone for our success on world markets has been and will continue to be the high quality milk which underpins our processing industry. I congratulate all the winners and I wish Lakeland Dairies and all of its members continuing success in the future," he added.
Lakeland Dairies Chairman Alo Duffy said: “The global demand for food will continue to increase over the next thirty years. Having access to natural and wholesome dairy products, made using sustainable methods, will become increasingly important in the future and Ireland is very well placed to meet this increasing global demand."
"Ireland’s green image, our environment and our pasture based production model are exceptionally important and it is most certainly a priority for Lakeland Dairies. As a dairy processor we need to be able to provide a continuous level of reassurance to our customers about our products. We simply couldn’t do that without the commitment of all our producers whose dedication and achievements are strongly exemplified by the winners of our milk quality awards," he continued.
Lakeland Chief Executive Michael Hanley said:
“Agriculture and dairying will be key engines of economic progress both regionally and on an all-island basis as we continue to grow our food exports in the future. Lakeland Dairies is committed to the achievement of dairy industry scale, efficiency and competitiveness, for the long term benefit of producers and rural communities."
“With the strategic investments we have made, we are able to process as much milk as our suppliers can provide. We have a strong presence in international markets, exporting nearly 100% of our output, and we have built a name for quality and reliability on a worldwide basis."
"The winners here today understand that requirement. We could not be successful without the total quality commitment of all our producers. These awards are a tribute to excellence in farming, and they are exemplary of the very high quality milk suppliers who we are fortunate to have in Lakeland Dairies," he concluded.
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