11 July 2022
By Mary Bermingham
An Irish butter brand made using traditional methods in North Cork will soon be available in hundreds of outlets across Ireland. Ór-Real Irish Butter, which is produced by North Cork Creameries, has now been added to shelves across the entire SuperValu network and due to its strong sales is being rolled out to Centra stores across the country.
North Cork Creameries was established in Kanturk in 1928 and has been making butter for almost 100 years using summer milk from local, certified grass-fed cows. Ór-Real Irish Butter is made using the traditional method of slow churning, the only addition is a touch of salt.
The farmer owned independent cooperative employs more than 100 local people directly, it supports 250 local family farm milk suppliers and contributes significantly to the local economy. Its revenues increased by 16% in 2021 to just over €155m. The co-operative processed 226m litres of whole milk last year and produced 17,580 tonnes of butter.
Pat Sheahan, CEO of North Cork Creameries said, “We have strong ambitions to grow Ór-Real Irish Butter and it is wonderful to see the brand on SuperValu and Centra shelves across the country. There is a real appetite for quality, natural products and we’re seeing a resurgence in the demand for Real Irish butter. We’re in a unique position in North Cork with the right amount of rain and ideal soil profiles to enable us to produce the highest quality milk from grass-fed cows. We thrive on tradition and use our generations of expertise to turn the finest local milk into butter. We also know our farmers and their farms really well and they believe in sustainable farming. Our farmers, their families and our locality are all part of what makes Ór-Real Irish Butter special.”
Mairead Lucey is the third generation of her family to farm in Corbally, Kanturk. Her family has supplied high-quality milk to North Cork Creameries since its establishment in 1928.
Mairead says, “There is something special about seeing Ór-Real Irish Butter in shops across Ireland knowing that it was made using milk from our cows and from neighbouring farms in the area. I’m delighted to be able to continue the family tradition and safeguard it for future generations. We’ve introduced many sustainable initiatives in recent years including establishing hedgerows as wildlife habitat, waterways management and substituting clover for chemical fertiliser.”
North Cork Creameries won Gold in the dairy butter category of the 2021 Blas na hÉireann awards, as well as being a finalist in 2019 and 2020. Additionally, North Cork Creameries has won the prestigious Irish Quality Food & Drink Q Awards for a number of years in succession as well as medals at the Great Taste Awards in both 2019 and 2020.”