Milk, cheese and yoghurt feature prominently at mealtimes in households across the country according to findings of national research of 1,500 Irish adults by the European Milk Forum (EMF) as part of its “Dairy in a Healthy and Sustainable European Food System” campaign. As one of Ireland’s oldest indigenous industries, dairy is a fundamental part of our national heritage, and these findings show Irish consumers continue to support and trust in the industry.
Key purchasing considerations for consumers are nutrition and taste with 77% regarding dairy as a healthy and nutritious addition to their diet; 66% value the delicious taste of dairy while 48% believe dairy products are fresh and not highly processed.
Three out of every five believe that dairy can continue to feed the world in a sustainable way while 69% regard dairy as a vital part of rural communities and regional economies.
Speaking at a recent visit to the award-winning Connelly dairy farm in Tuam, Co. Galway, Zoe Kavanagh, Spokesperson for the European Milk Forum in Ireland and Chief Executive of the National Dairy Council, welcomed the findings citing the enduring popularity of dairy products in households across Ireland and the valuable food-producer role played by Irish dairy farmers.
“Dairy clearly continues to be a treasured part of the diets of Irish consumers and features prominently at mealtimes in households across the country. Consumers recognise the taste, quality and flavour provided by dairy products. Further to this, the findings demonstrate the role dairy farmers play as food producers providing healthy, nutritious and high-quality dairy products. The findings demonstrate the esteem in which consumers hold our indigenous dairy industry. Farmers such as the Connelly family in Tuam are an excellent example of best-in-class food producers producing nutritious locally produced dairy, on a grass-based system, supplying top quality dairy products.
Ms Kavanagh said that while the research findings were positive overall for the dairy sector, consumers are conscious of the climate crisis and want to see industry continue to take more steps towards sustainability.