Stanley and Tanya Graham from Killeshandra, Co Cavan, along with Sean, Shane and Stephanie Sloan from Kilkeel, Co Down, have been named as joint champions in the Lakeland Dairies supreme milk quality awards.
The Graham family won the 0-500,000 litre producer category in the Republic of Ireland, while the Sloan family won the 1m+ litre producer category in Northern Ireland.
The awards recognise high-quality milk production at farm level.
This is the first time in the history of the awards that there have been joint supreme champions. The winners emerged from among 3,200 farm families across 16 counties who supply the 1.85bn Lakeland Dairies milk pool.
Milk quality award winners
Lakeland Dairies Group CEO Michael Hanley said: “The global reputation and success of our business starts with every single litre of milk sent to us for processing. We are resolute in driving forward our business in the interests of our producers and we are delighted to recognise their achievements.
“Our customers place the highest levels of trust in our credentials of sustainability, quality and reliability in meeting their needs for value-added dairy products. We are able to fulfil that commitment based on the excellent endeavours of our dairy farmers.”
New entrant winners
In the past five years, over 300 new entrants have begun supplying milk to Lakeland Dairies.
Ken Whittle from Walsh Island, Co Offaly, is the winner of the Republic of Ireland new entrant category while David Hylands from Limavady, Co Derry, won the Northern Ireland category.
Lakeland Dairies chair Alo Duffy said: “Despite the onset of the global pandemic, it is critical to recognise and reward the commitment of our 3,200 farm families to the highest standards of milk production.
“Our exporting success is based on the supreme milk produced inside the farm gate. Quality is the building block of our entire business and I acknowledge all my farming colleagues for their continued commitment to excellence.”