Minister focuses on dairy for final leg of US trade mission

The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney has concluded his promotional tour of Irish beef and dairy in Chicago.

The final day of the visit involved meetings with key distributors of premium food in the mid-west region in order to raise awareness of Irish food as well as marking the growing presence there of Irish dairy companies, Ornua and Carbery.

As part of the promotion of Irish dairy products the Minister visited US retailer Wholefoods to mark the growing volume of Kerrygold products on sale there.

Butter consumption is at an all-time high in the US and Kerrygold is quickly gaining a growing share of this market.

Commenting on the event Minister Coveney said Irish dairy farmers produce a premium product which is peerless in terms of quality.

“While we aim to increase dairy production, we want to ensure that the world continues to understand that Irish milk, butter and cheese is of a superior quality,” he said.

The Minister said Ornua has succeeded in communicating that difference to consumers all around the world, no more so than here in the US.

“The growth of one of Ireland’s most famous brands, Kerrygold in markets such as this will help to drive Irish dairy exports for many years to come,” he said.

Carbery co-op

The Minister also visited Carbery co-op’s international flavours business in the US, Synergy flavours. It is a leading supplier of flavours, extracts and essences to the global food and beverage industry.

The Minister said Carbery’s presence in the US is a perfect example of an Irish company taking the expertise and technology developed at home and adding value to their business by growing market share overseas.

John Durcan, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, Roisin Hennerty, Iarlaith Smyth and David Weir.
John Durcan, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, Roisin Hennerty, Iarlaith Smyth and David Weir.

“Indeed, much of the technology used in the Wauconda plant is derived from expertise developed in Carbery’s ingredients centre in Ballineen, Co. Cork.

“This innovation centre is an excellent example of the value and opportunity offered by strategic partnerships in innovation between Ireland and the US.

“Ireland’s new strategy for the development of the food sector, Food Wise 2025 advocates exactly this type of smart, sustainable and innovative food production, based on a deep understanding of consumer preferences and global market opportunities,” he said.

The objective is to build a reputation for Ireland based not only on the quality and safety of our produce, but also on world-class innovation and technology.

The Minister said the main aim of his going to the US this week was to build on the momentum behind Irish beef exports to the US as well as helping to drive further Irish dairy exports.

“Securing and developing international market access opportunities for Irish food and drink in such as the US has been a priority of mine since taking office.

“I am committed to working with our exporters to build these opportunities around the world,” he said.