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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘It feels as if dairy farming is completely misunderstood’

From the Ground Up: National Dairy Council’s new campaign

The National Dairy Council’s media campaign – ‘From the Ground Up’ – is back on our TV screens.

Its initiative, which three young dairy farmers front, encourages people to take pride in Irish dairy.

The campaign demonstrates the passion and commitment of the farmers that make it happen.

It aims to shed light on Ireland’s link to the land, the things that “make Irish dairy the best in the world”, dairy farmers’ sustainability actions and granola in the wild.

The campaign will be on TV nationally throughout this month and May, and June 2022.

The media campaign aims to encourage pride, a greater understanding, and a level of responsibility for the island’s national dairy industry.

From the Ground Up 

New 20’ and 30’ spots feature NDC farmer ambassadors:

  • Eamon Sheehan (Kilkenny);
  • Shane Fitzgerald (Waterford);
  • Louise Crowley (Limerick).

They explain how they:

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  • Take care of the environment;
  • Employ sustainable farming practices and why it is important;
  • Dairy farming is central to Ireland’s national heritage.
Quality products 

According to Sheehan, one of the ambassadors, the campaign tells the true farmer’s story, the story of Ireland’s dairy food producers.

“I hope that when people see it, they will spare a bit of time to think about what it says, and why it is so important – not just to us as farmers, but to the country as a whole.”

“Very often it feels as if farming – and dairy farming, in particular, – is completely misunderstood and under-valued.”

“We are the driving force behind quality products that people want to purchase. We are a key part of a healthy, modern lifestyle – the demand for which just keeps increasing.”

“Yet, as an industry, what we are doing in the area of sustainability simply is not recognised.”

Dairy farming in Ireland 

Zoë Kavanagh, chief executive of the National Dairy Council, believes that – because of the increasingly public debate around dairy’s sustainability – now is the time to get people on board with the farmers, to show their support and solidarity.

Kavanagh said that dairy farming has been going on in Ireland for over 4,000 years and it is a part of our national identity.

“Our grass-fed family-farming system is ideally suited to the Irish climate and such is its place in Irish society. Our research shows around one in four people know a dairy farmer personally.”

“However, there is a disconnect between those who buy and consume Irish dairy. 75% of people believe buying Irish is important and what our farmers are doing to address the issue of sustainability, particularly when it comes to climate action, thereby guaranteeing their future and that of their families.”

Concluding, she said: “If we do not support Irish dairy – have a sense of ownership and involvement – then the industry’s future, and the future of our 18,000 family dairy farms and the 60,000 jobs that Irish dairy supports are uncertain.”

Read our weekly dairy segment.

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