Dairygold milk suppliers, Denis and Patrick Joyce from Fermoy were declared regional winner of the 2017 Dairygold Milk Quality Awards at Springfort Hall Hotel in Mallow on Thursday night.

Denis and his son Patrick won the Mitchelstown regional award for consistently supplying the best quality milk to Dairygold throughout 2017.

The Joyce’s milk 250 Jersey cross cows on their farm in Acres, Fermoy. The judges declared that while all three finalists in the region demonstrated exceptional quality the Joyce family farm was an excellent example of what good management and high standards of production can achieve. They praised the Joyce’s for their health and safety focus and on improving efficiencies on their farm which has expanded greatly in recent years.

Dairygold Chairman John O’Gorman stated: “Our Milk Quality Awards are a very special night where our producers are at the heart of the occasion and celebrated for their achievements. As a dairy processor, Dairygold is constantly emphasising the importance of milk quality and to me what better way to reinforce the message than by recognising and rewarding best performance and practice across our supplier base. The ethos of continuous improvement that we strive to instil within the organisation is very much evident across our milk supply base which is reflected in the €4.3 million in quality bonus payments to milk suppliers through the Balanced Scorecard last year.”

The Awards were based on 2017 milk quality data for all 2,900 Dairygold milk suppliers, taking account of milk solids, farm facilities and animal husbandry. A shortlist was drawn up of three suppliers from each of the six Dairygold regions. These eighteen finalists underwent adjudication by two independent judges Dr Karina Pierce, University College Dublin and Mr Don Crowley, Teagasc dairy specialist.

The judges visited all eighteen shortlisted farms to review their farm enterprises first hand. The overall winner on the night was Kevin Downing from Whitechurch while Thomas Horan from Cashel, Co Tipperary and Timothy Roche from Dripsey, Co Cork came overall runners up.

Guest speaker on the night was Professor Thia Hennessy, Dean of Cork University Business School, who gave an insightful address on Cork University Business School, its plans and ambitions and the long-established association between UCC and Dairygold. 

MITCHELSTOWN FINALISTS

Mitchelstown Region: Winners – Mr Denis and Patrick Joyce, Fermoy. Runner-up Mr John Reedy, Mitchelstown and runner-up Ms Anne Fitzgerald, Kilavullen.