• Home
  • The Greenest Farms
  • Animal Welfare
  • Sustainability Starts at Home
  • Leading the Way


Ireland's temperate climate gives us one of the longest grass-growing seasons in the world. Our cows graze outdoors for most of the year, resulting in one of the most carbon efficient and sustainable milk production systems possible. It’s hardly surprising, then, that dairy is in our DNA.

For over 6,000 years Ireland has been in the business of dairy farming, with farmland and traditional methods passed down from generation to generation. Today, Ireland’s dairy produce is sent all over the world.

5 million tonnes of milk produced in Ireland
Ireland provides 4% of the milk for the EU but accounts for only 1% of the population
Up to 85% of Irish milk is exported to over 80 markets
18,000 milk producers in Ireland
36 co-op dairies in Ireland

The Greenest Farms

When it comes to growing grass, Ireland has some of the best conditions in the world. Which is not just great for our cows – it's great for the environment.

Grass-based milk production systems are the most efficient in the world, producing the lowest levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. And Ireland is already the most carbon efficient milk producer in the EU.

With abundant rainfall we do not need any mechanical irrigation

Ireland has the most carbon efficient milk production system in the EU

Ireland has the most carbon efficient milk production system in the EU

of land is used for agriculture


of which is lush pasture

Animal Welfare

Irish cows might just be the luckiest cows in the world. They graze on lush green grass, all day long, almost all year round. They live in small herds with loads of room to roam and there is no culture of intensive farming.

Calves are born in spring just in time for the lush grass-growing season, so they have a natural source of food waiting as soon as they're strong enough.

Calves are born in spring to coinciding with the lush grass-growing season

65 Cows per herd for loads of room to graze
312 Maximum amount of days Irish cows graze outdoors per year

Sustainability Starts at Home

Our sustainability agenda starts with our employees. By building awareness and involvement at every level here at Kerrygold, we've introduced a range of initiatives – from solar panels to bike-to-work schemes – proving business can be done in a more sustainable way.

In addition, we've reviewed our logistics chain to increase efficiency and benchmarked all our standards against global best practice. We believe we can make the following improvements:

Reduction in Carbon Footprint Reduction in Carbon Footprint
Reduction in road haulage footprint Reduction in road haulage footprint
Reduction in supply-chain footprint Reduction in supply-chain footprint
Reduction in waste to landfill Reduction in waste to landfill
100% Energy provided from renewable sources

Leading the Way

At Kerrygold, we want to lead the way in sustainability, especially in the areas of on-farm emission reduction, animal welfare and biodiversity. We've come a long way and yet, there's still plenty more we can do. Our pledge is to lower our emissions even further, through new products, green technologies, more efficient processes and greater awareness. When it comes to sustainability, we adopt an attitude of continuous improvement. We believe we can:

Achieve a reduction in green house gas emissions by 2018

Maintain high standards in animal welfare, milk quality, trace-ability and environmental practices

Improve sustainable farming practices as
85% of emissions occur at farm level


Is to ensure our sustainability initiatives help our customers live their lives in a more sustainable manner. We aim to set an exemplar standard and empower others to follow us. Together, we can help ensure a safe supply of nutritious food to the world - now and for generations to come.