IRELAND – Dairygold, Ireland’s cooperative that produces premium cheeses & dairy nutritionals has reported an improved operating profit of US$39.92million from US$21.56 million in 2016, which amounts to a change of 85% generated from a turnover of US$1.18m (up 28% on prior year).

A higher turnover was contributed by continued milk production expansion on milk suppliers’ farms and strong global dairy markets in the year.

Milk production volumes increased 8.3% on the previous year to 1.3 billion litres, representing a cumulative volume increase of 55% since 2009.

Global dairy markets were boosted by higher milk prices at an average of 37.6 cent per litre, an increase of 10.6 cent per litre on 2016.

Butter returns were offset by rapid deflation of the butter bubble which went from a high point of US$8,627 per tonne in August to less than US$4,930 per tonne by year end.

Dairygold, on the other hand was committed to hold its milk price to prevent a drop, as witnessed in 2015 and 2016 despite market fluctuations and weakening returns towards the end of 2017.

“I’m pleased to see that our Members continued to fulfil their on-farm ambition encouraged by improved dairy market returns while the Society continued to evolve and strengthen its position.

2017 was a milestone year for Dairygold with a record volume of milk supplies.

We achieved a key goal to ensure all milk supplied this year is from SDAS (Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme) farms and we also celebrated the official opening of our Nutritionals Campus in Mallow,” said John O’Gorman, Dairygold Chairman.

According to Dairygold CEO, Jim Woulfe, the dairy market volatility in 2017 highlighted the importance of pursing value-added strategy aligned to long-term opportunities in global dairy demand.

Agri-business segment saw an upward year-on-year turnover as a result of high feed and fertilizer demand but this was offset by cereal and grain businesses.

Dairygold said that they are committed to sustainability through 100% compliance to Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS), with a proactive approach to mitigate the environmental impacts of expansion.

According to Dairygold, the company has invested US$199.69m in the business across its four processing sites over the last five years, plus opening an office in Shanghai, China to build presence in markets especially in Asia.

It targets to deliver on its value-added strategy with a focus on cheese and nutritional powders through organic growth and acquisition and by leveraging on its operational and commercial capability together with its financial strength.

As it works to create more functional and sophisticated products, Dairygold plans to make investments in its Nutritionals Campus, Mallow to enhance value addition for its dairy nutritional products in the next two years.

“The organisation continues to focus on its ambitious value-added and growth agenda.

Business agility and strategies focused for long-term opportunities will be key drivers for the continued growth and success for Dairygold,” said Jim Woulfe, CEO Dairygold.