The National Dairy Council (NDC) is “ruthlessly focused on building trust at a public level around what you are doing inside your farm gate”, its CEO Zoe Kavanagh has said.
Outlining the NDC’s new grassroots movements campaign at an event held on the award-winning Connelly dairy farm in Tuam, Co Galway, on Wednesday, she said it is a productive-led campaign featuring farmers, ambassadors and the proof points.
“The whole idea is we felt there was an opportunity missed last year to signal to society that the dairy sector has a plan to reduce its emissions by 2030, has a plan to improve its water quality status.
"This whole campaign is not about saying we're only starting now, but it’s about saying there’s a lot of work being done and there is more to do,” Kavanagh said.
The new campaign launched by the NDC earlier this year highlights the work being done by dairy farmers all across Ireland to improve their sustainability and meet future targets.
“I think we are in the right space and we are going to have to stay in this space and work on your behalf.
"Where adversity presents itself - and we have had adversarial coverage - we have authentically met that head-on and reassure the concerned citizen that where practices that have no place in the sector are illustrated and shown, that they will be addressed,” she said.
The Connelly family have accredited their success in dairy to putting into practice what they have learnt from other dairy farmers
“We have to come across as being progressive and purposeful, but authentic. We are the best in the world at doing this, but we need to make sure the public trust us.”
Congratulating the Connelly family on successfully being awarded the overall winners of the NDC Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards, Aurivo chair Raymond Barlow said: “After only four short years in dairy, their success couldn’t have been achieved without 100% dedication and commitment to the very best farming practices.
"The Connelly family have accredited their success in dairy to putting into practice what they have learnt from other dairy farmers, the support and expertise of the Aurivo team and Teagasc, as well as utilising what they have on the farm first, making the most out of grass with as little inputs as possible while working with the environment.”
Barlow told Irish Farmers Journal: “It's fantastic for the Aurivo Co-op and the region.
"I suppose you only have to look around here and see how well they manage their farm, how well things are kept, how neat and tidy and the hygiene is fantastic. It’s easy to see how they have won such an award.”