Ornua chief vows to return Kerrygold to Wisconsin shelves
The producer behind the multi-million euro Kerrygold butter brand has warned they will defend it "with every fibre" after sales were halted in a US State.
Ornua's CEO Kevin Lane described the popular butter brand as one of its biggest assets recording worldwide sales of €900m last year, with 20pc growth in the US.
"We will defend with every fibre of our body anybody who tries to come in and do a knock off or tries to do a cheaper version or tries to damage the integrity of that brand. We'll take it to whatever court in the land we have to," said Mr Lane.
Ornua is currently involved in a legal action against a local company who had commenced selling butter under the Irishgold brand, which Ornua claim has infringed their trademark. Ornua recently were granted an injunction in the case.
Mr Lane said the court case was ongoing. "We have received one injunction so we won the first piece but it is still continuing," he said.
Separately, fans of the butter are suing the State of Wisconsin in the US over an old law that saw it banned. It fell foul of a decades-old law that butter must have either a Wisconsin or federal grade mark.
Ornua confirmed that while the ban remained in place that Ornua was engaging with authorities in Wisconsin and that they would be working hard with authorities to find a solution to this issue.
Ornua, the country's largest exporter of Irish dairy products, confirmed a 9pc rise in turnover to €1.75bn in 2016 as it released it's full year results for 2016, while operating profits were up 46pc at €26.6m.