Speaking at the European Dairy Association Conference last month, Volac CEO James Neville explained how his company has developed since it was first established in 1970.

“Volac’s mission is dairy nutrition for a healthier world”, he said. This is much more elaborate than the silage wrap and calf milk replacer which most Irish farmers will associate the familiar brand with.

Initially, the business was involved in animal nutrition, which is still a major division of Volac today, he explained.

At that time – 1970s – animal nutrition was becoming more sophisticated and Volac formulated milk replacer powder to help rear young livestock.

James explained: “Volac today is a leading manufacturer of performance and dairy ingredients. It is fundamentally a nutrition business based around dairy cow nutrition and dairy products.”

A sample of the products that Volac currently make include: high protein whey for food and nutrition products; lactose for confectionery, bakery and piglet feed; calf milk replacer powder; silage inoculant; and bypass fats – a high energy feed for livestock.

There is a Volac factory in Ireland manufacturing calf milk replacer powder, he said.

Concluding his presentation, James also alluded to the importance of developing new technologies to extract nutrients from whey.

“There are many important products that are fundamentally reliant on whey, such as infant formula and medication,” he concluded.