FIVE family farms in the West Cork area are involved in supplying milk used in the creation of the award-winning Five Farms Irish cream liqueur, which recently launched in this country and for which there are ambitious expansion plans in 2019.
The product is crafted from single batches of cream, sourced and produced in West Cork, using the milk from the participating farms in the Barryroe Co-Op catchment area. Laurence Sexton is the spokesman for the LJG dairy partnership – a three-way tie-in between Laurence, John Hallissey and Guy Scott. The other families involved are the O’Mahonys, the Colemans, the McCarthys and the Tuthills.
The Ballineen-based Carbery Group, which processes the farmers’ milk, supplies about 10% of its cream to Silverpail Dairies in Fermoy. This is used mainly for ice cream but also for the production of Irish cream liqueurs.
The major portion of Carbery cream goes to the newly-constructed Kerrygold Park site in Mitchelstown, which was opened in 2016, to produce Kerrygold butter. The main cream liqueur product manufactured by Silverpail is McCormicks which is also the name of the US distributor that Silverpail works with in the US.
Donegal native Johnny Harte, a veteran marketing consultant in the drinks business, who works with Silverpail, draws on his 30 years’ experience to assist Silverpail in terms of developing routes to market.
Johnny has developed a new concept for a niche-style brand which is based on the idea that five farms in a distinctive Irish rural setting will supply the cream for each batch of ‘Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur.’
Pitching itself as ‘a true farm-to-table product,’ Five Farms is a joint US-Irish venture between McCormick Distilling Company in Weston, Missouri, and Johnny Harte, a co-founder of and partner in the brand. McCormick is one of the oldest distilleries in the US, with a history that dates back to 1856.
For this brand, all of the ingredients are sourced in Ireland and the product is entirely produced in this country (the premium triple-distilled whiskey that the cream is mixed with comes from Cork as well). McCormick then imports it into the US under its Holladay Distillery label. Cream liqueurs generally contain about 17% alcohol.
‘2019 will be a year of significant expansion for the brand, as we launch into additional countries and the remaining American states for full national distribution in the US,’ said Johnny.
He added that ‘the reception to the brand among the Irish-American community in the States has been remarkable and we look forward to our continued partnerships with Irish festivals and groups in that country.’
In Ireland, Five Farms is stocked in the independent off-licence trade, including the O’Brien and Molloy groups. The brand is also available in a select number of bars, restaurants and hotels.
Retail displays include replicas of metal milk churns. The recommended retail price of Five Farms in Ireland is €34.99.
JJ Walsh, sales and marketing manager with the Carbery Group, stated: ‘On behalf of Carbery Food Ingredients, I want to thank the Barryroe farmers, Barryroe Co-Op and my colleagues in Carbery for their co-operation in making this project a reality.’
• For more information on the liqueur, see www.fivefarmsirishcream.com