In September 2009, the National Dairy Council introduced a packaging mark giving consumers in the Republic of Ireland the reassurance of knowing that if they buy milk or cream with the NDC Guarantee, it is both farmed and processed locally.
The NDC Guarantee gives consumers the opportunity to show their support for local jobs on dairy farms and in the dairy sector in an active way, when deciding what milk or cream to buy.
Research shows that consumers here have become very engaged in the jobs debate since the recession, with 31% saying they are buying more Irish food and drink brands, and, when asked why – 90% are saying that want to support the economy and jobs. (Ref 1)
The NDC Guarantee directly supports the jobs of 2,483 people locally in dairies and 2,193 dairy farmers involved in farming ‘table’ milk.
The actual economic value is much higher than this, as the economic multiplier effect associated with the agri food sector means that consumers who choose milk and cream with the NDC mark are in fact supporting 12,415 jobs in our economy.
Every one job in direct manufacturing in the agri food sector accounts for another four indirect jobs in our economy – this is due to calculations such as the lower levels of imports needed to support those jobs, or the fact that the agri food sector sources at least 85% of its inputs in the local economy. (Ref 2)
The NDC Guarantee appears on some 340 milk and cream products in the Republic of Ireland, ranging from brand leaders to ‘private label’ or ‘own label’ products. This amounts to hundreds of pack types and sizes across products including cream, whole milk, skimmed milk, semi-skimmed milk, buttermilk, lactose free milk, flavoured milk or fortified milk.
However, the NDC Guarantee can only be printed on cartons that are licensed to carry the NDC mark, because they source and process their milk in the Republic of Ireland and they meet all of the necessary NDC licensing criteria and audits.
Origin & Quality Top of Mind for Consumers
“Origin and quality are top of mind for consumers in the context of food safety and in the context of the heightened awareness of the value of supporting our local economy brought about by the recession,” says Zoë Kavanagh, Chief Executive of The National Dairy Council.
“There is also a growing appreciation for the superb pasture basis for dairy farming which we enjoy, which is a very natural environment for cows. Local dairy farming represents a style of sustainable dairy farming that consumers are also increasingly interested in,” says Ms. Kavanagh.
Those dairies or co-ops which already have products licenced to carry the NDC mark are:
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
(1) Bord Bia “Retaining Loyalty to Irish Brands 2 (2011)”
(2) Miller et al 2011
(2) The Economy Impact of Food Harvest 2020 on Employment in Ireland – Ana Corina Miller, Alan Matthews, Trevor Donnellan & Cathal O’Donoghue