WEST Cork’s Clona dairy last week became the first in Ireland to have all of its first in Ireland (Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme) and has also become a verified member of the Bord Bia Origin Green Sustainability Programme.
Mr Michael Creed, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, was on hand at a function on Monday at the Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, along with Clonakilty native Ms Tara McCarthy, who is CEO of Bord Bia, and they were hosted by Tony O’Driscoll, CEO of Clóna. Also among the guests were the 41 farmers who supply Clóna with sustainable West Cork milk.
Clóna Dairy Products Ltd has been at the heart of West Cork’s food sector for almost a century, tracing its origins back to 1919, where its story began at Hurley’s Farm in Clonakilty. The company has a long history of pioneering innovation and was the first supplier of pasteurised, bottled milk in Munster.
This week Clóna made history once again by becoming the first dairy in Ireland to source all of its milk from farms approved by the internationally ground-breaking, Bord Bia SDAS (Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme). Clóna is proud to work with an outstanding network of dairy farmers, who have embraced the goals and objectives of sustainable farming.
The dairy was also delighted to have received third-party verification to Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme.
The Bord Bia Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) was developed in close co-operation with milk producers, processors and regulatory authorities and sets out measurable standards for quality assurance and sustainable production.
This world-leading programme places Ireland in the unique position of being the only country systematically measuring and improving the environmental performance of the dairy sector at a national level. The scheme is also fully accredited under ISO 17065.
Speaking at the announcement this week, Clóna’s CEO Tony O’Driscoll said that ‘We are extremely proud of our West Cork heritage. We would like to acknowledge the hard work and tremendous dedication of our suppliers in ensuring their farms meet the high standards set out by the SDAS scheme. ‘We are extremely proud of their commitment to fully embrace the programme’s objectives. It is by working in harmony with our unique landscape that our suppliers produce some of the best milk in the world!’
West Cork’s pristine environment, exceptionally mild climate, unique terrain and closeness to nature are among our greatest natural resources. It has been key to the region developing its thriving food culture and becoming recognised as Ireland’s home of outstanding food and food tourism
‘By supporting sustainable dairy production through the SDAS scheme, Clóna is helping to preserve and enhance the environment that sustains us and future generations, while providing our customers with truly outstanding milk and dairy products,’ added Mr O’Driscoll.
He also commented: ‘We are very excited to become a verified member of Origin Green and will continue to work with farmers to innovate and remain at the cutting edge of sustainable and environmentally aware production. We hope to be part of ensuring that West Cork and Ireland are internationally recognised as world leaders in sustainable food production.’
Mr O’Driscoll concluded by expressing the hope that: ‘By growing our regional and national reputation as a centre of excellence, we can ensure that West Cork and Ireland remain strong brands in the face of Brexit and other international challenges and ensure we have a bright and sustainable future.’