Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 March 2018

Turkish yoghurt boss takes world title

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

A former dairy farmer from Turkey has been crowned the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year in Monte Carlo over the weekend.

Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder, president and CEO of Chobani, the biggest selling yoghurt brand in the United States, was picked from among the 49 country finalists, all of whom had been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in their home countries.

Kerry dairy entrepreneur Dr Edmond Harty was one of those vying to take the title.

Dr Harty said it was a great honour to represent his country in the competition and have the opportunity to showcase the best of Irish agribusiness and technology on a world stage.

Dairymaster is based in Causeway, Co Kerry, where it carries out all of its manufacturing and research and development on milking equipment, automated feeding systems, milk cooling tanks and fertility monitors.

The eventual winner, Turkish-born Hamdi Ulukaya, was born into a dairy-farming family in eastern Turkey, but he moved to the US in 1994 to learn English and pursue business school.

In 2007, he launched Chobani Greek Yoghurt and within six years, it reached annual sales of over $1bn.

Chobani has 3,000 employees and operates the largest yoghurt factory in the world, selling its products to Australia and Britain as well as the US.

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Irish Independent