Farm Ireland

Saturday 21 April 2018

Lasting link to Britain

Origins of IDB connections to Adams Butter go way back

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

The Irish Dairy Board's (IDB) connection with Britain started with an English-based company called Adams Butter.

First established in 1922, Adams Butter was a family-owned dairy business run by Frederick Adams who sold milk direct from the dairy and packed butter under the Adams brand.

By the 1960s, Adams was a national butter brand in Britain and became agents for the IDB, taking responsibility for selling Irish butter and other dairy products into Britain.

In 1962, the Kerrygold brand was launched in Britain after first being test marketed in the northwest of England. The signature gold foil of Kerrygold soon established itself naturally as a premium brand. Less than 10 years later, Adams became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Irish Dairy Board and Adams Butter became Adams Foods Limited.


The next few years saw Adams Foods diversify into biscuits, bakery and fruit juice, as well as introduce cheese packing and start to manufacture processed cheese.

However, during the 1980s, the group reverted to its core business, and the Kerrygold Company Limited and Adams Food Ingredients were created.

In May 1990, the Kerrygold Company moved from its old site in Leek, Staffordshire, to a purpose- built site at nearby Sunnyhills Road.

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There, the company began to build on its past successes and soon established itself as the largest packer of cheese in Britain and Ireland.

Over the next decade the Kerrygold Company's customer list grew to include major retailers, food service businesses, contract packing customers and also independent cheese producers seeking a route to market.

Growth continued into the new millennium and the company introduced its first sliced cheese line in July 2003.

The year 2008 saw Kerrygold pick up numerous industry awards, including taking first place in the dairy section of the 2008 Food Manufacturer Excellence Awards and two Sentinel Business Awards -- the Environmental Business Award 2008 and Young Business Person of the Year Award 2008.


The following year, the company moved across the road to a brand new £30m state-of-the-art facility.

The plant was designed to increase scale efficiency, meet the most exacting needs of the marketplace and support the company's position as the largest supplier of pre-packed cheese to the British retail sector.

The new plant also incorporated pioneering new environmentally responsible technology and, in just one year, the company's gas use reduced by 44pc, electricity use went down by 9pc and its carbon footprint was cut by 17pc.

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