At the breakfast meeting were l-r: Sean Lynch, Mallow Chamber President; Jim Woulfe CEO Dairygold; Noreen Walsh, branch manager, AIB Mallow; John Cronin and John McDonnell, chair Mallow Development Partnership.

Mallow Development Partnership, in association with Mallow Chamber, hosted a business breakfast in Mallow’s Hibernian Hotel last Friday morning, where over 200 people attended.

The keynote speaker for the event was Mr Jim Woulfe, CEO of Dairygold, who discussed ‘Dairy Business – Economic benefits to Mallow and its hinterlands’.

Opening the event, John McDonnell, chair of Mallow Development Partnership outlined the many positive benefits that are evident to Mallow from working as a unified structure together with Mallow Chamber, Mallow Businesses and Cork County Council.

Since its relaunch in June 2015 Mallow Development Partnership has been going from strength to strength by progressing many important projects over seven pivotal areas (infrastructure, tourism & heritage, retail, industry, community, sustainable development and innovation & education).

Mr O’Donnell gave an update on many of the projects including the Mallow relief road, public Wi-Fi, North Cork Engineering Cluster, Town Hall redevelopment, Mallow bridge boardwalk, Urban Public Realm Design plan to name but a few.

Mr O’Donnell thanked Cork County Council for their ongoing support and commitment to the partnership and to the various projects.

Sean Lynch, president of Mallow Chamber of Commerce informed those present that the Cork County Council Beacon Retail Initiative has commenced in Mallow with 15 retailers taking part. Mr Lynch outlined that positive discussions were taking place with Cork County Council to address the issues of paid parking and traffic flow in Mallow.

Mr Woulfe outlined his views on the lifting of the quota system, the future for the dairy industry in Cork and his company’s plans for the future. Despite recent concerns about the Irish dairy industry’s ability to deal with a global downturn in the dairy sector, Dairygold CEO Jim Wolfe still believes that the scrapping of the quota system is good for his company, the farming community and the country as a whole.

“There was a real welcome for the lifting of the quota at the time after 30 years on constraint. Peoples own individual enterprises were affected in that time. Some people had a lot of land and weren’t able to produce milk from that land, others had other constraints.

“With the lifting of the quotas they were given a freedom to farm. That was an exciting time, of that there is no doubt but the cycles of the markets, of supply and demand, of excesses and shortages will continue. That has always been the way, even with the quota system in place these factors were at play so these will always continue. 2009 was a great example of this, there were terrible market conditions that year and we were still subjected to the quota period.”


Mr Wolfe was also keen to point out where his company is at present after their massive investment, of over €100m in their two local facilities, Mitchelstown and Mallow.

“We started with a huge investment in the Mitchelstown plant and finished that work in 2014, we then moved on to Mallow and this week we are commissioning the new factory here. That commissioning work coincides with today’s event so we felt it was important to let the people of the area know what we are up to.”

Mr Wolfe was also keen to recognise the “great working relationship” that he and his company have grown with the MDP over the last year and was very complementary of those running the organisation and the influence they are having in the area,

“The MDP has been very encouraging and very helpful to Dairygold. The partnership is all about people with passion for the development of Mallow. I am really proud to be associated with it. The Partnership has been able to give us channels into power and various arenas that perhaps wouldn’t have been accessible to ourselves,” he said.