Dansko Foods & the Irish Dairy Industry
The history of Dansko Foods’ Kilmallock plant is long and varied!
In 1913, the Co-Operative Society acquired the creamery of Kilmallock Co. Limerick, which was originally a butter factory.
By 1962, local co-ops started producing cheese, which over the next 10 years grew very quickly as many small scale co-ops collaborated with Golden Vale Food Products Ltd.
Soon after, all of the small local co-ops, amalgamated to form The Golden Vale Co-Operative Society which was the epicentre of the Irish Dairy Industry for many years. The plant in Kilmallock subsequently closed in 1974 as large scale production moved to the site in Charleville.
Dansko Foods was founded by Kieran O'Neill and his wife, Anne. Kieran spent all of his career in the dairy industry after graduating from UCC with a degree in Dairy Science in 1968. After spending some years working with the co-ops, he joined the Irish Dairy Board (now Ornua) in 1973, where he spent 13 years working on the technical and grading teams of the cheese division.
In this time he worked closely with Irish co-ops learning about the technical aspects of cheese production, cheese maturation and grading while working closely with customers in a number of international markets on their market needs.
Kieran, through his close relationships with the Irish co-ops spotted a gap in the market for processing cheese and butter products that did not meet the requirement for premium grade Irish Dairy produce, and a year later, he and Anne purchased the old Kilmallock Creamery from Golden Vale (now Kerry Group).
The business started on a small scale initially to provide time to carry out remedial work on the plant, and bring it up to grade specification. Following this work, the business grew very quickly and within a few short years, Dansko Foods was exporting internationally.
Responsibility to our local community
Community Matters At Dansko
The Dansko Foods warehouse is situated in a former cheese factory in Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, Ireland. Our connection to the local community goes back over 60 years.
We believe that we have a responsibility to our local community, and as a leading sustainable business in Ireland, we are committed to being responsible for our local environment. Dansko Foods’ Economic Sustainability agenda is centred on our mission statement:
“To be of benefit to all our stakeholders – our customers, our suppliers, our staff, our community and our family, and to achieve operational excellence and disciplined cost management.”
We recognise the need to be economically sustainable, and we also strive to ensure that our business practices and operations do not create social or environmental issues that would harm the long-term success of the company. We have engaged many economically sustainable practices following Lean Manufacturing principles, such as fitting out our factory with energy-efficient light bulbs. We recognise that our success depends upon the way in which we treat our staff, our community and our local environment, and we operate with our long-term goals of sustainability in mind.