Popularity of veganism being watched ‘very closely’ by Ornua

The popularity of veganism is something that is being watched very closely by Ornua, according to the group’s CEO Kevin Lane.

This morning Ornua, Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products, published its operating and financial results for the year – which ended on December 30, 2017.

Also Read: Ornua’s turnover up 18% to €2.1 billion in 2017

During the month of January, the ‘Veganuary‘ campaign took place – which asked people to try veganism for the first month of 2018.

Following this, dairy farmers promoted ‘Februdairy‘. Farmers were encouraging the public to support the dairy industry, as well as aiming to educate consumers about the benefits of dairy products.

The social media campaign also aimed to give consumers an insight into the day-to-day activities on a modern dairy farm.

Veganism is a topic which has attracted significant attention in recent months, with the pros and cons of such a lifestyle being widely discussed on national and international media.

Lane noted that veganism is something that Ornua is monitoring.

Commenting on the matter, he said: “It is something we are watching very closely. Because, while it is a relatively small percentage of the population today – and it is a relatively small percentage of product purchased, it is getting much more vocal and it is growing very fast.

“So we wouldn’t be in any way complacent about that and the non-dairy alternatives. I suppose what we have always tried to do is to play to the virtues of the essential nutrients dairy brings as part of a healthy, balanced diet. We’re not saying you have to use 100% dairy.

We’re watching very closely those new categories of growth; because over time, if they become much bigger, they would clearly impact the volume of dairy sales.

Meanwhile, the managing director of Ornua Trading and Ingredients, Joe Collins, said that animal welfare standards – which are often brought up as part of any discussion on veganism – are “very good” on Irish dairy farms.

“In terms of animal welfare, Irish farms are very good. It is mainly family farms. On the dairy side, cows are out grazing. It’s less intensive; it’s more of a natural set-up.

“That’s a positive within the sector,” he concluded.