Speaking at the launch in Dublin’s Conrad Hotel, NDC Chief Executive, Zoë Kavanagh said the NDC recently commissioned a study about the reputation of the dairy industry the results of which confirm that, in reputational terms, quality is the single most important attribute of Ireland’s dairy industry.

"The reputation and quality of the Irish dairy sector are precious assets which we need to protect, maintain and enhance", she said.

"Quality is the key to consumer’s trust in, and loyalty to, Irish dairy products. It underpins the well-earned reputation for excellence that Irish dairy has at home and in premium overseas markets."

Concluding, the CEO said that the Irish dairy sector, released from the shackles and restrictions of milk quotas, can now tap into its innovation and creativity in order to strategically look at opportunities to expand within premium markets in a sustainable way. “This will make a significant contribution to our economy, spread throughout the counties of Ireland.”

National Dairy Week 2015 puts a spotlight for consumers on the top quality of Irish pasture-based dairy farming and highlights the nutritious benefits of milk and dairy produce as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveneny, who was present at the event, said he'd like to like to congratulate the National Dairy Council on the launch.

"The Irish dairy industry will be using research and innovation to expand into export markets," he said, "generating a positive opportunity for our economy which will be felt throughout the regions."

This will be underpinned by "enhancing our international reputation as a world class producer of dairy products which are sustainably produced and of the highest nutritional quality," the minister added.

Six Nations rugby stars Dave Kearney and Rob Kearney, along with World Indoor Champion sprinter hurdler Derval O'Rourke, were on hand to promote the official launch of the week-long campaign, which will involve the use of multimedia advertising and promotion worth €250,000.

To find out more about the events taking place during National Dairy Week, which will take place from 18 to 25 April, you can visit the NDC website here.