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Dairygold announces winners of its annual Milk Quality Awards

Dairygold announces winners of its annual Milk Quality Awards

27th May 2019

Edward Donovan’s farm in East Cork awarded best quality milk

Friday 24th May 2019 – Dairygold milk supplier Edward Donovan from Cloyne, East Cork was declared the overall winner of the 2018 Dairygold Milk Quality Awards which took place at Springfort Hall Hotel in Mallow on Thursday night where he also took home the East Cork Regional Award for consistently supplying the best quality milk to Dairygold throughout 2018.

Edward farms in Cloyne with his wife Breda and started milking in January 2014 as a new entrant to dairying, working alongside his father John. Edward currently milks 203 cows from a grazing platform of 79ha. He is also active in the local community as a member of the Midleton Young Farmers discussion group.

The judges declared that while all three finalists in the region demonstrated exceptional quality, the Donovan farm was an excellent example of what good management and high standards of production can achieve. They praised the Donovan’s for their focus on farm efficiency and their excellent performance in cow fertility and milk output.

For the first time in its history the awards also recognised the efforts of Dairygold’s milk suppliers in making their operations more economically and environmentally sustainable with the awarding of the Sustainability Award. This year’s winner was Pat Cronin, who was also crowned Mid Cork regional winner on the night.

Addressing the award ceremony Dairygold Chairman John O’Gorman said; “Our Milk Quality Awards are an excellent opportunity for us to reward the hard work and performance that we see all year across our milk supplier base. The quality of our milk is what makes us successful and these awards are just another way of emphasising that message to our customers, suppliers and across our organisation. We want to continue rewarding our suppliers for their excellent milk quality supply while also ensuring the sustainability and longevity of our industry. In January we introduced a new milk supplier sustainability bonus, designed to deliver healthier herds with more productive cows.”

“Edward has shown how someone relatively new to the industry can use best practise to produce the best results from his herd.”

Dairygold Chief Executive Jim Woulfe added; “Our focus on producing excellent quality milk saw Dairygold introduce our A+B-c milk price payment system in 2008, that rewards higher milk solids. The average milk solids for the Dairygold milk supply base has been rising incrementally ever since and the average Dairygold milk supplier is now delivering milk with 3.53% Protein and 4.17% Fat. At those solids a farmer can earn 4.3 cpl more than a farmer delivering milk with the national average fat and protein.

Edward has demonstrated how you can get the best from your herd by focusing on the key areas such as hygiene, herd health and sustainability and this award win is very much deserved. We would like to wish him continued success with his farming enterprise.”

The Awards were based on 2018 milk quality data for all 2,800 Dairygold milk suppliers across counties Cork, Tipperary, Limerick and Clare. A shortlist was drawn up of three suppliers from each of the six Dairygold regions. These eighteen finalists underwent adjudication by two independent judges; Dr Karina Pierce, University College Dublin and Don Crowley, Teagasc dairy specialist.

The judges visited all eighteen shortlisted farms to review their farm enterprises first hand. The review took account of Milk Quality, Dairy Facilities, Herd Health and Welfare, Sustainability and General Efficiencies and Farm Health and Safety. The Judges chose six regional winners and the overall winners were announced on the night.


 Milk Quality Regional Award Winners 2018


Limerick Region               

Winner                                      Pierce Breen, Newtown, Pallasgreen, Co. Limerick.


East Cork Region                             

Winner                                      Edward Donovan, Ballybrannagh, Cloyne, Co. Cork.


Mallow Region                 

Winner                                      Timmy Lyons, Carhue, Berrings, Co. Cork.


Mid Cork Region                             

Winner                                      Pat Cronin, Cahirkereen, Kilnamartyra, Macroom, Co. Cork.


Mitchelstown Region    

Winner                                       Ned O’Brien, Carrigane, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.


Tipperary Region            

Winner                                      Maurice and David Hally, Clogharden, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.