A book celebrating the founding of Nenagh Creamery 100 years ago and Mid-West Creameries 50 years ago, and their amalgamation in 2001 to form Arrabawn Co-Operative Society was launched this evening by Tom Hayes, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Speaking to AgriLand this evening a spokesperson of Arrabawn said: “Today’s event went brilliantly. More than 200 people attended. Its author Martin Ryan has been working on the book for over three years and it has been a wonderful success.”

The launch today also coincided with a small conference on the dairy sector featuring keynote speakers Prof  Gerry Boyle Teagasc, Michael Boland University of Minnesota among others.

At the launch the minister said: “In many ways this story chronicles the history not just of Arrabawn Co-Op, but of agriculture in Ireland and in Tipperary, in particular. The co-op movement and the dairy sector have an enduring legacy in which we take great pride”

Referring to the common ancestry of the Department of Agriculture the co-operative movement and the impact of the abolishment of quotas on the sector, the minister said: “Today 100 years on we are facing another seminal moment for the Irish dairy sector.  With the abolition of milk quotas and a newly reformed Common Agriculture Policy as a backdrop, Irish farmers are facing new decisions and new challenges, but also tremendous opportunity.”

Minster Hayes noted Ireland’s obvious natural environmental advantages that Ireland have in terms of the dairy industry. He called on all stakeholders in the industry build on these advantages: “To the stakeholders in the dairy sector, I say that there must be an unrelenting commitment to producing the highest quality product, to improving competitiveness at both farm at processing level using the best technology available, and by making prudent financial and business decisions based on profitable expansion.”

The minister also acknowledged the pioneers in the co-operative movement and the path they set for the industry. He said: “It is up to this generation to show a similar level of vision, determination and attention to detail, in preparing this marvellous industry for challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The dairy sector in Ireland has a proven capacity to compete on international markets and I am confident that it can continue to exceed our expectations for it in the coming decade.”

The book is available from Arrabawn or in local book shops in the area. For more information call 06741800.

Image Shutterstock