Top accolades in the dairy sector were awarded by Lakeland Dairies during the co-op’s Milk Quality Awards gala event which took place recently, and locally, the high standard displayed in the sector, most certainly did not go unrecognised.
The event was attended by Minister for Agricultural, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD and Kilcogy farmers, Killian and Madeline Brennan were awarded a top accolade on the night, after they secured the the overall winner in the 0 - 400,000 litres milk production category.
The selection process was based on the highest quality milk for processing by Lakeland Dairies in a wide range of dairy products and food ingredients and accolades went to counties, Monaghan, Cavan, Offaly and Tyrone on the night.
The awards aim to publicly recognise the achievements of Lakeland Dairies milk suppliers whom the company said were “committed to efficiency and quality in all aspects of their milk production”.
“Irish dairy farmers have a well deserved international reputation for their commitment to the production of the highest quality foods on a sustainable and safe basis,” Minister Coveney said, adding that it was now imperative to create new opportunities for the growth in global food demand. “Awards such as these are deeply important, and I warmly congratulate the excellent milk quality award winners of Lakeland Dairies.”
Paying tribute to the winners, Lakeland Dairies Chairman, Padraig Young highlighted the importance of acknowledging the “achievements” within the dairy sector. “As an expression of optimism in dairying for the future, these awards are specially significant for our winners this year as 2012 is the UN International Year of Co-operatives,” he explained. “As a sector, we must all continue to share the values that have contributed to the success of co-operative enterprises in Ireland. We must continue to strengthen the business of co-operation for the future and this is our intention at Lakeland Dairies.”
In conclusion, Lakeland Dairies, CEO Michael Hanley added that dairy farmers made “a very strong contribution” to the overall vibrancy of rural living in their communities and in the sustainability of the Irish countryside. “In spite of current economic circumstances, we can still be reasonably optimistic for our dairy industry for the future,” he said. “Lakeland Dairies exports to over 70 countries offering 170 branded dairy products to customers throughout the world. Working co-operatively and strategically together, we can continue to increase our international competitiveness.”