The concept is to create a simple, artisan-style and modular creamery to offer farmers the facilities to create premium dairy products that, as the French say, are rooted to the terroir. This and quality-differentiated milk will provide the all important unique selling points within the market. In this, it is about enhancing the market returns to farmers for their milk by premiumizing the farm-gate price.
Initially, the creamery will be a ‘development kitchen’ before moving to operating as a production facility. It will be designed with a multi-dairy-product capability and modular in nature. ‘Artisan’ will be an underlying descriptor of all products and ‘craft-manufacturing’ will be prioritised over automation. This underpins an aim of the project; to create premium-foods-markets-linked rural employment.
To put it simply, Ireland has a history of commodity production. Its presence in the UK food markets, the country's primary export market, reflects this. Ireland, rightly, has aspirations to be a premium, ‘fine-food’ producer but to achieve this it first has to develop the actual premium food products upon which its standing as a premium food product 'food island' can be enhanced and developed.
Hence, the Creamery will act as an 'incubator' for the development of premium, artisanal-made dairy-products with unique selling points. ‘In-house’ designated-origin standards will regulate the production of each product to allow replication by other creameries and consolidation for export. In time as the reputation of the products grow, their designated-origin may become legally protected.
The aim is to develop niche market, premium products from a diversity of milk types. Milk selection will be governed by how the milk can impart one or more unique characteristics to the product [relating to the physical quality characteristics of the milk, the breed’s heritage or the farming system]. As markets grow some products may be scaled up but the production will remain ‘artisan’. When milk volumes and supply locations justify it, some production may shift to new creameries.
It is envisaged that the creamery will become a skills and knowledge centre for the production of small-volume, premium dairy-products. The creamery will also be linked to a similar capability for the development of niche-market milk production from different livestock species and breeds.
Please contact us for a more detailed presentation of the Project. Please note that the title of the project does not determine exactly where the project may be established. In an ideal world it will be home-based and established within Stuart Meikle's local community.