See what these dairy cows are producing that makes them different
Foods derived from animal fats have received a lot of negative press over the past few years.
Kevin Kennedy from Kinsale-based Anú Dairy is trying to dispel that myth as he gets ready to launch his organic K2 butter on the market in the coming weeks.
"I was always convinced that butter made from rich pastures and good soil is a healthy food product. I set about researching it and discovered that butter processed from milk from cows fed on organic grass, who are milked once a day, has high levels of the vitamin K2," he said.
When asked what K2 does and why humans need it, Kevin said: "It is like a traffic light system in the body as it moves calcium away from soft tissues and into the bones so, in that sense, it is excellent in reducing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
"K2 comes from animal fat found for example in the liver and egg yolks. K1 comes from leafy greens, but you must source K2 from animal products. It is not available in synthetic form (apart from some cancer treatments). Milk sourced from Irish organic dairy farms is the perfect raw material for K2 butter."
It is almost impossible to source an Irish organic butter on supermarket shelves, so there is an obvious market for it here and Kevin is also setting his sights on the export market.
"In the medium to long term, we are looking mainly at Germany - they sell €70m of organic butter every year so there is a market there and as the Germans import the biggest quantities of Kerrygold, they obviously have an affinity for Irish butter.
"My unique selling point is that my butter is naturally high in K2, organic and grass fed," he said.
He has completed the SuperValu Food Academy programme and says it was well worthwhile. "The pathway to get started out as a small food processor in Ireland is excellent and underutilised.
"We have so much potential in terms of quality food production, we need more companies to partner with farmers to add value to the wonderful raw materials we produce in this country," he added.
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