the family operated organic dairy, has unveiled its vision for an organic Ireland with the announcement that it is seeking 100 new organic dairy farmers as suppliers. Glenisk is celebrating a major relaunch involving the introduction of new products, new-look packaging, a new website and new partnerships forged to promote sustainable living and a healthy planet. The company has just completed an €8.5 million development at its plant in Killeigh, Co Offaly, to increase capacity and facilitate production of its new products. The Glenisk workforce has this year risen from 25 to 55.At the same time, the company, which spearheaded the growth of organic dairy farming in Ireland, has doubled its plant volume by supplying a new line of yogurts and fromage frais products, Stony, Yogurt on a Mission™, which is being distributed across the UK. Owned by Stonyfield UK, part of Stonyfield Europe, which acquired a 37% minority stake in Glenisk in June 2006, Stony, Yogurt on a Mission ™ is blazing a trail as the UK’s first healthy planet brand.
According to Vincent Cleary, Managing Director of Glenisk, the partnership with Stonyfield Europe reflects a shared philosophy. “As a business and as a family, we stand for an Organic Ireland and Stonyfield is committed to the same values. This partnership allows us to grow our business and to pursue our vision.”
Commenting on the announcement, Trevor Sargent T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, said, “This investment shows the potential of the organic sector to grow, to develop a range of organic and value-added organic products in response to consumer demand and to contribute to food exports.”
Working with small organic farmers on both sides of the border, Glenisk procures 90% of the organic milk produced in Ireland, using more than 5,000 kilo tonnes annually. In 2007, the company will produce more than 5,300 kilo tonnes of yogurt. With strict adherence to fair trade practices, the Clearys pay farmers the highest milk premium in Ireland.
Padraig Fahy, president, Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association (I.O.F.G.A.), comments: “We share Glenisk’s vision of an organic Ireland and we are delighted to see the company grow and expand their range. That Glenisk is now also now producing yogurt for the UK market is especially good news for our organic dairy farmers in Ireland and for the next generation of organic growers. We hope that more farmers will consider conversion to organic as the benefits become more widely recognised, and consumer demand for organic food increases.”
With the Cleary Family deeply committed to protecting the environment and reducing carbon emissions, the new Glenisk plant is powered using Airtricity prior to a planned switch to their own wind turbines. Other green initiatives at Glenisk include a strict recycling policy, using waste water efficiencies through reed beds and the conversion of all company vehicles to bio-fuel.
Michael Hussey from Bord Bia’s Consumer Foods Division comments: “Glenisk is a great example of a pioneering Irish brand. The company has led the organic food movement in Ireland, demonstrating a real commitment to producing quality food in a sustainable manner. As the first and the largest organic dairy in the country, they have been instrumental in introducing Irish consumers to organic foods.”