What do we mean when we say our products are made with milk from Irish grass-fed cows?
Milk used in Kerrygold products is sourced from Irish cows, i.e. cows registered on farms on the island of Ireland
Ornua is a dairy co-operative and buys the milk for its Kerrygold products from its members in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ornua’s members are dairy co-operatives too and they, in turn, buy all of their milk from farmers in their area. Farmers on the island of Ireland are legally required to register their cattle with the Department of Agriculture and the Marine in the Republic of Ireland and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland. For further information on mandatory registration of cattle, please see: agriculture.gov.ie and gov.uk/register-cattle-northern-ireland
On the island of Ireland, a typical Irish dairy cow grazes outdoors on rich natural grass for most of the year and enjoys a healthy grass-based diet all year round.
Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) Data Analysis – December 2018 and SDAS Aggregated Data 2013-2016 and SDAS Data – Verified Years 2013-2016. For further information on SDAS, please see Bord Bia’s website
Even when not grazing outdoors, when housed in the winter months, the majority of a typical Irish dairy cow’s diet is made up of grass silage.
Journal of Dairy Science, at 101:1-1, “A National Methodology to Quantify the Diet of Grazing Dairy Cows”, page 1
The grass-based winter diet is typically supplemented with feed to maintain the health and wellbeing of the cow. Ingredients in an Irish cow’s diet can include alternative forage (such as kale, maize and straw) and supplementary feed, which includes ingredients such as maize and by-products, barley, soya and by-products, rapeseed, palm kernel, wheat feed, molasses, minerals and vitamins. A large portion of the supplementary feed is comprised of crops like wheat and barley.