Three-quarters of Irish people understand that the natural deep-yellow colour of Irish butter is a result of the grass-based production system in which Irish dairy is produced, according to a recent survey of Irish adults carried out by the National Dairy Council (NDC).

The survey also found that 59% of consumers believe that the grass-based diets of Irish dairy cows is what makes the Irish dairy sector sustainable.

Six out of every 10 people surveyed believed that Daisy was the most suitable name to be given to a cow.

The NDC undertook the survey to coincide with the passing of the Climate Action Bill, legislation the body has said “has lumped cows in with cars in terms of emissions”.

The research was also carried out to promote the fact that Ireland has one cow for every three people, a point the NDC stressed feeds 45 million people worldwide.

Family farms

Following the publishing of the results of the survey, spokesperson for the NDC and Kilkenny dairy farmer Eamon Sheehan explained the economic necessity of the dairy sector to rural Ireland, while discussing the industry’s pro-active approach to environmental sustainability.

“Irish dairy is an institution with the weight of history behind it. Irish dairy is backed by 18,000 family farms, accounts for one in every 40 Irish jobs and contributes €5.2 billion to the Irish economy,” stated Sheehan.

“Perhaps more to the point, as farmers we understand our obligation to the environment and as a community we are adopting new technologies and practices to reduce our impact and make our contribution to Ireland’s shared national climate goals,” he said.