Carbery Quality Milk Award 2018 goes to Bandon

James, Pat and Theresa O’Neill, from Clohane, Bandon, have won the overall prize at the 2018 Carbery Quality Milk Awards held recently in the Fernhill House Hotel, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.

The O’Neills are a family partnership with James farming in partnership with his parents Theresa and Pat.

The O’Neill family is currently milking 210 cows with a 20-unit milking parlour. The family was also selected as the regional winner for Bandon Co-op, where the O’Neills supply their milk for processing in the Carbery’s Ballineen facility.

The regional winners from the other three shareholder co-ops are:
  • Conor and Kevin Moloney, Boxtown, Kilbrittain, from Barryroe Co-op;
  • Brendan and Pauline O’Driscoll, Shreelane, Leap, from Drinagh Co-op;
  • Colm and Ber O’Sullivan, Kilbree, Clonakilty, from Lisavaird Co-op.
Drinagh Co-op winners. L-R: Peter Fleming, Carbery Group chairman; Brendan and Pauline O’Driscoll,with family, Niall, Ian, Sam and Amy; Jason Hawkins, CEO, Carbery Group. Image source: George Maguire

Each finalist was commended by the judges for outstanding attention to detail, with an emphasis on: milk quality; sustainability; healthy cows; hygienic facilities; and excellent farming practices.

Carbery says these factors are “essential to the quality of raw material supplied which leads to a superior end product”.

Barryroe Co-op winners. L-R: Peter Fleming, Carbery Group chairman; Conor and Kevin Moloney; Jason Hawkins, CEO, Carbery Group. Image source: George Maguire

Owned by farming families, Carbery Group processes close to 500 million litres of milk per annum to produce award-winning cheeses and food ingredients in Ballineen, according to the group.

Speaking at the awards, Peter Fleming, chairman of Carbery Group, said: “Each year the quality of entries for the Carbery Quality Milk Awards continues to impress. The high standard of products produced by Carbery is thanks to farmers like the O’Neill family, which puts a huge amount of work into its farm, and the quality of milk it is producing is testament to that.”

Lisavaird Co-op winners. L-R: Peter Fleming, Carbery Group chairman; Colm and Ber O’Sullivan, with daughters Clodagh and Maeve; Jason Hawkins, CEO, Carbery Group. Image source George Maguire

The chairman added that the O’Neills and the rest of the finalists have reached an excellent standard, and are a credit to dairy farming in west Cork.

Fleming concluded by saying that Carbery’s success has been built thanks to the quality of milk produced by suppliers like Pat, James and Theresa, and he congratulated them on winning the award.