Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 24 May 2017

US consumers to see Kerrygold butter back in shops as ban resolution 'close'

One disgruntled customer said she is now travelling to Nebraska to buy Kerrygold butter and haul it home in cooler bags. Stock Image
One disgruntled customer said she is now travelling to Nebraska to buy Kerrygold butter and haul it home in cooler bags. Stock Image
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Kerrygold butter should be back on shelves in the US state of Wisconsin within weeks, following frantic efforts which saw the well-known Irish butter banned in the state.

Under Wisconsin legislation, dating back to the 1950s, retail butter for sale in Wisconsin must bear either a Wisconsin or federal grade mark.  

This effectively excludes Kerrygold butter being sold in Wisconsin because Kerrygold butter is graded, produced and packaged in Ireland.

Ornua, which owns the Kerrygold brand  are currently working with the Wisconsin officials on a solution which will enable consumers throughout the state enjoy the great taste of Kerrygold butter. 

Meanwhile officials in the Department of Agriculture, including Ireland’s Agricultural Attaché at the Irish Embassy in Washington, have kept in close contact with the company on the matter and the Minister for Agriculture said this week that he understands that a solution to the problem is now close to finalisation.

“Once the technical steps are completed it should see the resumption of the sale of the product concerned again.

“I do not envisage this issue having wider ramifications for Irish beef and dairy exports to the US,” he said.

Kerrygold is the number one imported butter and the number three overall butter brand in the US.

The product has become a staple for many Americans who follow the Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) and Paleo/Caveman diets, which promote the use of grass-fed butter as the best form of fat, many consumers use Kerrygold butter in coffee instead of milk.

The ban has seemed to raise the ire of some Wisconsin consumers with one disgruntled customer, Jean Smith told the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) that she is now travelling to Nebraska to buy Kerrygold butter and haul it home in cooler bags.

She also questioned whether or not the rule has more to do with protecting the US dairy industry, not consumers. "I feel suspicious. Who are you trying to protect here? Are you protecting the consumers, are you protecting Wisconsin dairies?"

According to the FEE shop keepers who don't remove Kerrygold from their shelves face fines and possible jail time.


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