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Ornua Co-operative Limited
TypeStatutory agricultural cooperative
IndustryFood retail
PredecessorButter Marketing Committee
Founded1961; 60 years ago (1961)
FounderGovernment of Ireland
HeadquartersGrattan House, Mount Street, ,
Area served
Asia, Europe, Middle East,
North America, Africa, Australasia
Revenue€2.3 billion (2014)[1]
€30.2 million (2014)[2]
Number of employees
Car advertising Kerrygold Butter in Denver

Ornua[3] from the Irish "Ór Nua" meaning "new gold" (known as The Irish Dairy Board from 1961 to 2015) is an Irish agri-food cooperative, which markets and sells dairy products on behalf of its members: Irish dairy processors and Irish dairy farmers. The co-operative is Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products and owns the Kerrygold butter and cheese brand[4] as well as Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur. In conjunction to the Kerrygold brand, its brand portfolio consists of Pilgrims Choice, Dubliner, Shannongold, and BEO milk powder.


The Irish Dairy Board was established by an act of the Oireachtas, the Dairy Produce Marketing Act 1961,[5] and replaced the earlier Butter Marketing Committee. It was created to centralise the overseas marketing of Irish dairy products to achieve economies of scale and greater brand recognition. At the time of the Board's creation, the European Economic Community's market was closed to Irish butter, and the United Kingdom market limited Irish imports by an import quota.

The name Kerrygold was selected to evoke "farming, naturalness, goodness and above all quality milk" as well as a sense of Irishness.[6] In October 1962, the Board successfully test-launched the Kerrygold brand in the Winterhill area of North West England.

When Ireland joined the EEC in 1973, the Board began expanding its presence to continental Europe, beginning with the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany. By 1982, Kerrygold had national distribution in Germany.

On 31 March 2015, the Board assumed a new corporate identity as Ornua: "The Home of Irish Dairy".


Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur

Currently, Ornua operates from 19 subsidiaries worldwide, with pre-packing and blending facilities located in Germany, Great Britain, the United States and the Middle East. A €36m state-of-the-art Kerrygold butter production and packing plant (Kerrygold Park) has been constructed in Mitchelstown, County Cork. In 2020, Ornua announced an investment of £3m in its Leek production facilities, to boost capacity in response to greater consumer demand for its cheese products and bringing total annual production to more than 110,000 tonnes.[7]

Kerrygold is the second highest-selling butter in the United States and the highest-selling butter in Ireland as of 2019.[8]


The Irish Dairy Board was awarded Exporter of the Year by the Irish Exporters in 2010.[9]


  1. ^ Company Profile Ornua. Retrieved: 2011-05-22.
  2. ^ http://ornua.annualreport14.com/img/Ornua--Annual-Report--2014.pdf[bare URL]
  3. ^ Company Profile Ornua. Retrieved: 2015-10-20.
  4. ^ Ornua Kerrygold.com. Retrieved: 2011-05-22.
  5. ^ "Dairy Produce Marketing Act, 1961". irishstatutebook.ie. 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  6. ^ The Creation of the Kerrygold Brand Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine Kerrygold.com. Retrieved: 2011-05-22.
  7. ^ Addy, Rod. "Ornua Foods UK invests £3m in Leek factory". Food Manufacture.
  8. ^ Dunn, Elizabeth G (2 October 2019). "Irish Butter Kerrygold Has Conquered America's Kitchens". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  9. ^ "IDB by numbers - News & Features, Farming - Independent.ie". independent.ie. 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.

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