North Cork Creameries has won the overall national Gold Q Award for butter at the Irish Quality Food Awards.

North Cork Creameries initially scooped the winning award in this year’s butter and spreads category, for the third year in succession.

The cooperative then went on to be crowned the overall national winner ahead of 388 other products across 105 food and drink categories.

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”.

Processing from its facilities in Kanturk, North Cork Creameries has in recent years 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.

North Cork Creameries’ butter is made using milk originating from local farms across the North Cork, Feale Bridge and Headleys Bridge and Newtownsandes catchment areas.

Commenting on the win, 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 cooperative.”

The co-op processes over 320 million litres of milk annually, with an already invested capacity to increase processing throughput to 400 million litres, which will cater for ongoing expansion by milk producers across its operating region, according to the firm.

The processor’s dairy food ingredients include milk powders, caseins, whey and bulk and pre-packed butter for a range of food manufacturing applications.

In addition, North Cork supplies fresh liquid milk, whipping creams and butters to multiple retailers.