Farming

Wednesday 20 August 2014

U-turn on butter is good news for Irish after Time front page

Darragh McCullough

Published 17/06/2014 | 02:30

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Time's cover is good news for Irish producers.

You know that butter has completed its rehabilitation when it makes it onto the front cover of Time magazine.

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Under the startling headline 'Eat Butter', the magazine says that "scientists labelled fat the enemy", before boldly stating "why they were wrong".

The u-turn on butter can only be good news for the Irish dairy industry, with butter accounting for a huge proportion of the 5.6bn litres of milk produced here annually.

It appears that the product's new start has already left Ireland's main butter distributor, the Irish Dairy Board (IDB), under pressure to meet demand.

IDB chairman Aaron Forde has admitted that the company is currently unable to meet demand for its flagship product, Kerrygold butter.

As a result, the firm, which markets nearly half of the national dairy output on behalf of dairy processors, has announced plans to build a new butter packing facility in Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

It hopes that this will allow it to double sales from close to 20,000t to 40,000t by 2020.

Market leader

Kerrygold butter is currently the number one butter in the German market, with an 18pc market share and annual sales of close to €300m.

It has also recorded double digit growth in the US over the last five years.

Sale of spreadable butter grew by 4pc in Britain last year, boosted in part by TV cooking programmes that regularly recommend the use of butter in baking and cooking.

Irish butter consumption lags that of Europe's top butter lovers, Germany.

While Germans consume 6.4kg a year, the Irish consume 2.6kg, preferring instead the myriad of 'butter' options that often have a milk fat content of just 0.1pc.

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