AT the Lakeland Dairies Milk Quality Awards, dairy farmers from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were honoured for the exceptionally high quality of milk produced on their farms.
The awards publicly recognise the achievements of Lakeland Dairies milk suppliers who are committed to quality in all aspects of their milk production.
Winning a milk quality award is a truly excellent achievement. The winners emerged from among 3,200 farm families who produce milk for the 1.8bn Lakeland Dairies milk pool.
The awards were presented by Mairead McGuinness MEP (Vice-President of the European Parliament), with Lakeland Dairies Chairman Alo Duffy and Group Chief Executive Officer Michael Hanley at a special event on Friday, June 28.
Alan and Catherine Doak, Omagh, County Tyrone, won the Lakeland Dairies Supreme Milk Quality Award. The Doaks also won the 0-1 million litres Northern Ireland milk production category for the exceptional quality of their milk supply to Lakeland Dairies.
John Anthony McNally of Drumroo Farm, Drumrooghill, Lisnalong, County Monaghan, won the 500,000+ litres milk production category. The runner-up in this category was John Malone, Walshestown, Mullingar, County Westmeath.
David Boyd and Trevor Keith from Glaslough, County Monaghan, won the 0–500,000 litres milk production category, closely followed by runner-up Patrick Reilly, Cammagh, Moyne, County Longford.
Peter Robinson from Ballinagore, County Westmeath, won the Sus-tainability Category of the awards for outstanding commitment to sustainable milk production, based on measures including carbon footprint, biodiversity, water man-agement and milk quality results.
Iain McLean, Bushmills, County Antrim – represented at the awards by sons Matthew and John – won the 1 million+ litres milk production category. The runners-up in this category were the Johnston family, represented by Stephen Johnston and his son Isaac, Ballinamallard, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.
The overall Runners-up in the 0-1 million litres milk production category were Sean and Padraig McKee from Toomebridge, County
In the category for New Entrants to Dairy Farming, Ciaran Boylan, Shercock, County Cavan, and Ian McClelland, Banbridge, County Down
both won awards for exceptional milk quality.
Lakeland Dairies Chairman Alo Duffy paid tribute to all of the award winners: “Winning a quality award is something really special. The awards symbolise many years of commitment and hard work in achieving the highest possible standards of milk production, including sustainability, hygiene, animal health and overall care for the environment.
“As a globally focussed dairy exporter, we continuously provide reassurance to our customers about the quality of our products, with systems that trace quality throughout the food chain. Our farmers and the litre of milk are the first building blocks in that process. The winners here today understand these requirements. I express my admiration and pride to all of the winners in the Lakeland Dairies Milk Quality Awards.”
Lakeland Dairies Group CEO Michael Hanley said: “Lakeland Dairies is proud to put the work of our farmers at the centre of our business and we are delighted to be able to reward and recognise their commitment to excellence at our Milk Quality Awards.
“We’re all working in a deeply competitive and globalised marketplace. To succeed in that environment, you need to be able to differentiate yourself based on your reputation and the quality of what you do.
“Lakeland Dairies is achieving this through the excellence and distribution of our value-added dairy products, the technological capability of our processing facilities and the high quality of our milk pool from our farmers.
“Our customers worldwide de-mand these high standards and our dairy farmers are meeting this requirement.”
Mairead McGuinness, MEP, said: “
“These awards recognise excel-lence in quality milk production. I congratulate the award-winning milk suppliers of Lakeland Dairies for their commitment to excellence and I wish Lakeland Dairies and all of its members continuing success in the future.”