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High praise for Carbery’s innovation

June 12th, 2023 11:50 AM

By Emma Connolly

High praise for Carbery’s innovation Image
Carbery is committed to being in West Cork for the long-term, according to ceo Jason Hawkins (Photo: Don MacMonagle)

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CARBERY is committed to being here for the long term, said its ceo Jason Hawkins. 

‘We’re not thinking of quarterly or monthly results, we’re about making multi-generational investment, which is really important when it comes to innovation and sustainability,’ he said, addressing a two-day summit hosted by Asia Matters on how Irish exporters can benefit from further investment in innovation and sustainability. 

Two expert panels, which also included New Zealand’s ambassador to Ireland Trevor Mallard; Sean Mulvany of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, and Prof Song Miao of Teagasc, discussed how Irish firms can deliver world-class sustainable food systems, at the event hosted by Carbery HQ. 

Opening the discussion was former agriculture minister Alan Dukes who said they were in ‘an appropriate place to talk about innovation and sustainability.’

‘Carbery is the beating heart of the economy of this part of the country and it’s more than an economic centre of enterprise – it’s a support for a whole social structure that is irreplaceable, I think. And one that I think over all of its history has been marked by a commitment to innovation and sustainability,’ he said. 

To illustrate that point, Jason pointed out how Carbery was the first facility in the world to have membrane technology to process whey, which was feed for pigs primarily. 

‘We’ve had many firsts here in keeping with our heritage of innovation,’ he said. 

Pointing to Farm Zero C, which the group later visited, he said how the project started out aspiring to be the first carbon neutral dairy farm, but is now working to being the first climate-neutral farm.

‘We always lean into innovation, have always thought about the long term, and were sustainable before it was a requirement,’ he said. 

He said the average size of their 1,200 suppliers was a 90-cow holding. 

‘We make a difference to those 1,200 people, those families. We also have 400 people on site and we really think of ourselves as contributing to our local community,’ he said. 

Carbery employs 600 people globally, but he said they were proud to maintain that ‘family focus.’

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