New entrant takes top prize at 2019 Carbery milk awards

The winners of the 2019 Carbery Quality Milk Awards have been revealed, with the overall prize going to Nigel Daunt from Coolculitha, Innishannon, the west Cork group has announced.

The awards were held recently in the Fernhill House Hotel, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.

Nigel is a new entrant to dairying, after moving out of suckler cows to beef in 2017, when he took over the farm from his parents Robert and Dorothy.

He is milking 65 cows on his 106ac farm and has an eight-unit milking parlour. Each of his cows produce 5,000L of milk per year, delivering 400kg of milk solids.

He is also the regional winner for Bandon Co-op, processed in Carbery’s Ballineen facility.

The regional winners from the other three shareholder co-ops were also announced on the night.

L-R: Carbery Group CEO Jason Hawkins; Barryroe Co-op winners Jerry and Carmel Keohane; and Carbery chairman Peter Fleming. Image source: Don MacMonagle

These were: Jerry and Carmel Keohane, Ballintemple, Clonakilty, from Barryroe Co-op; William and Patricia O’Donovan, Minanes, Drinagh, from Drinagh Co-op; and Christopher and Hannah McCarthy, Cahergal, Union Hall, from Lisavaird Co-op.

In addition the winners of the Sustainability Awards were revealed:
  • Bandon Co-op – Mark Kelleher;
  • Barryroe Co-op – Timothy Keohane;
  • Drinagh Co-op – John Young; and
  • Lisavaird Co-op – Eddie O’Flynn.

Each finalist was commended for their outstanding attention to detail, with an emphasis on milk quality, sustainability, healthy cows, hygienic facilities and excellent farming practices, all of which are essential to Carbery’s quality of raw material supply, leading to a superior end product.

Drinagh Co-op winners Patricia and William O’Donovan. Image source: Don MacMonagle

Owned by farming families, Carbery Group processed 536 million litres of milk in 2018, to produce cheeses and food ingredients in Ballineen, which was sold in over 50 international markets across the world.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Patrick Wall, Professor of Public Health, University College Dublin, said: “The standards set in west Cork are an example to the world of what a small area can deliver, by making an absolute commitment to only producing top-quality milk.

From my travels around the world and the many markets I have visited, I have seen first-hand how Carbery has developed over the years.

Also commenting at the awards Jason Hawkins, CEO, Carbery Group, added: “Each year, the quality of entries for the Carbery Quality Milk Awards continues to impress.

L-R: Carbery Group chairman Peter Fleming; Lisavaird Co-op winners Christopher and Hannah McCarthy; and Carbery Group CEO Jason Hawkins. Image source: Don MacMonagle

“The high standard of products produced by Carbery is thanks to farmers like Nigel Daunt, who put a huge amount of work into their farm, and the quality of milk they are producing is testament to that.”