Lakeland Dairies welcomes new entrants to dairy farming

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Eamon Duignan

Eamon Duignan is the Member Relations Manager at Lakeland Dairies. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

The farmer owned dairy processing co-operative Lakeland Dairies has welcomed close to 100 new entrants to dairy farming in the run up to and since 2015 from the beef, suckler and tillage sectors, the co-operative has reported.

Eamon Duignan, Member Relations Manager at Lakeland Dairies said, “We’re delighted to see the commencement of new entrants who are successfully producing high quality milk having converted their farming enterprises to dairying.”

“Lakeland Dairies is taking a strategic and supportive approach in meeting the future milk processing needs of dairy farmers. The co-operative has access to the global food markets and customers required to ensure long term and sustainable success for milk producers.

“We have put in place the investments and capacity required to process all current and projected milk volumes. These developments have been funded from the co-op’s own resources and without any requirement for levies or sharing up by our milk producers.”

Kevin Kelly started milk production for the first time in February 2016 on his family farm near Edgeworthstown.

“At the outset, I contacted Lakeland Dairies and they were really very helpful to deal with. I was also aware that Lakeland had been investing in new plants and extra capacity but they weren’t seeking any levies or sharing up by farmers.

"An advisor, Adrian McKeague called out to me several times.

"He works for the Lakeland Teagasc Joint Programme and he helped in preparing my business plans for bank finance which all ran smoothly.

"Compared to sucklers, milk production has provided greater certainty in the achievement of long term viability, profitability and sustainability for our farm and I’m glad that we made the move.”

Lakeland Dairies processes 1.2 billion litres of milk a year into a wide range of dairy food service and food ingredient products. It exports close to 100% of all locally produced milk that it collects and markets over 200 different branded products worldwide.

Eamon Duignan of Lakeland Dairies said, “As a farmer owned dairy co-operative, our sole mission is to promote the long term future and success of dairy farming in the region and to provide the best possible returns from the market to our milk producers.

“Our processing facilities have the highest levels of efficiency and they are well positioned to handle the projected increases in milk production over the coming years. Crucially we also have the customers at the other end who are looking for and committed to taking more dairy products as they come on stream.

"We welcome all enquiries from new entrants hoping to start milk production.”

Lakeland Dairies operates a dedicated advisory service for farmers who are thinking of converting to milk production at 1890 474720 or by email at futuremilk@lakeland.ie