It truly is dairy gold for North Cork Creameries
North Cork Creameries has won the overall national Gold Q Award at the Irish Quality Food Awards for its butter, which the co-operative makes using milk supplied by local dairy farmers throughout the north Cork and north Kerry regions.
North Cork Creameries initially scooped the winning award in this year's butter and spreads category for the third year in succession. The co-operative then went on to be crowned the overall national winner ahead of 388 other products across 105 food and drink categories, applied for by other top food and drink industry producers.
According to the adjudicating panel: "the award symbolises the product which the panel agree is truly outstanding above all other category winners, and worthy of the ultimate accolade".
North Cork Creameries operates dairy-processing facilities in Kanturk, where it makes a variety of dairy food ingredients and retail dairy products.
In recent years the co-operative has made multi-million-Euro investments in its facilities to cater for the increasing volumes of milk that it is processing from its dairy-farming milk suppliers, partnering co-ops and a number of new entrants to dairy farming.
Their butter is made using milk originating from farms across the North Cork, Feale Bridge and Headleys Bridge and Newtownsandes catchment areas.
"It is manufactured from fresh cream in a gradual churning process to deliver a deliciously creamy, rich, smooth and textured product for spreading and which also melts perfectly for cooking purposes," said the co-op.
Commenting on the award, North Cork Creameries' CEO Pat Sheahan said: "This award is a tribute to the farming families who produce our high-quality milk; to our highly dedicated staff; and to the quality and efficiency of operations throughout the co-operative, where the results of our investments, product innovation and competitiveness are exemplified in this national quality accolade.
"This is a 'three in a row' win for North Cork, where we have an excellent reputation at home and abroad for the quality of our dairy products, and we will continue to grow and develop our business from this platform.
"At a time when staying local, independent and relevant in the food industry is challenging, this award validates our commitment to the highest standards of quality and to the dairy farming and rural communities, who we are proud to serve as a leading Irish dairy processing co-operative."
The co-operative processes over 320million litres of milk annually, with an already invested capacity to increase processing throughout to 400m litres.
This will cater for ongoing expansion by milk producers across its operating region. North Cork's dairy food ingredients include milk powders, caseins, whey and bulk and pre-packed butter for a diverse range of food-manufacturing applications.
North Cork also supplies fresh milk, whipped creams and butters to leading multiple retailers.
With a 200-strong expert judging panel, the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards are highly regarded throughout the industry for the balance and integrity of their results. With a heritage spanning four decades, the awards uphold the industry's most rigorous and transparent judging process.
The Gold Q is the ultimate award of quality for consumers,;retailers; food and drink manufacturers; food-service providers; wholesalers; suppliers and small producers alike.