Aurivo Dairy Ingredients Tour



Event Press Coverage:

Click: Western People 23.11.2015

Westmeath Examiner 05.12.15 below:

Westmeath Examiner 05.12.2015


Click: Irish Farmers Journal online 21.11.15

Click: Agriland online 23.11.15



ASA – Aurivo event highlights importance of efficiency for sustainable growth

Thursday 19th November 2015: The Agricultural Science Association (ASA) today hosted a tour of one of Ireland’s leading co-operatives, Aurivo in Ballaghadreen, Co. Roscommon. The tour provided members with a rare opportunity to get behind the scenes of the Aurivo Dairy Ingredients facility, powered by a newly installed biomass plant. Aurivo currently processes approximately 380m litres of milk annually, collecting from over 1,000 farmers from across 13 counties.

More than 50 ASA members from all over the country attended the event where they were addressed by one of Ireland’s foremost agri-food leaders Aaron Forde, CEO, Aurivo.

Speaking at the event he said, “Aurivo is delighted to host this forum for ASA members. As a Co-operative, we continue to make strong strategic progress. 70% of Aurivo suppliers have increased production since April – an excellent vote of confidence by our milk producers in the strategy of the Cooperative. For Aurivo and its owners, it is vital that each component of the supply chain is strong enough to sustain challenging market conditions. Delivering enhanced business efficiencies and a commitment to sustainability at producer and processor level continues to be a key focus.  With an efficient and robust operational platform, excellent customer relationships and attractive innovation pipeline, Aurivo is well positioned to continue our growth story into the future”.

ASA President, Neil Keane said “Aurivo is showing great leadership by demonstrating how a co-op can successfully integrate sustainability into the core of its business operations while also supporting its farmers in achieving a more sustainable and profitable business model.  Our members have been incredibly impressed today by the level of scale and operation of this thriving dairy processing business in the west of Ireland.”

The group received a tour of Aurivo’s new biomass facility, a new wood-fuelled energy system which aims to cut carbon emissions in half through a dramatic reduction in usage of heavy fuel oil. Aurivo is the first large scale milk processor in the country to switch to biomass as a source of energy.

Following the tour, delegates participated in a Dairy Forum which focussed on the importance of planning for dairy farmers in order to achieve a sustainable and profitable business.

Philip O’Connor, Agricutlure Support Farmer, IFAC spoke to attendees about the need for farmers to be in control through effective financial planning, particularly in a low price milk year.  He said, “The future of Irish farming is primed for an era where it will be one of the best exporting farm industries in the world with the ultimate goal being to ensure a stable, sustainable business and for the farmer to attain a satisfactory standard of living. Continuing low milk prices are putting real pressure on farm cash flow with fertiliser and contractor bills to be paid, in addition to the day to day running costs. It is important that a dairy farmer should look very carefully at the cash needed on a month by month basis to maintain the business operating efficiently through this difficult period and into 2016.”

Roberta McDonald, Farm Profitability Programme Manager, Aurivo outlined the Co-op’s Farm Profitability Programme, which works with farmers to increase farm sustainability and improve profitability. She said, “There is enormous potential for dairy farming in the Aurivo region, from both existing and new operations and profitable and sustainable dairy farms are key to a reliable milk supply from this region in the future. In order for this programme to continue to be successful, collaboration and involvement of farmers and other industry bodies is essential,” she said.

Kevin Moran, Aurivo Farm Profitability Programme Focus Farmer said that dairy herd genetics are the foundation of his farm business. Speaking to delegates, he said “I have learned that accurate and realistic planning is the key to sustainable dairy expansion. It has allowed me to secure a new 48Ha block on a 15 year lease which means I can now milk 90 cows on my dairy farm in Caherlistrane, Co. Galway. I believe that the key to success in dairying is to be able to accurately budget and manage cashflow in order to achieve a sustainable, stable business.”

For more information on upcoming ASA events, including the third in a series of dairy masterclasses which takes place in March, visit

Facebook:      Agricultural Science Association

Twitter:           @ASAIreland


For further information contact:

Gemma Smyth, 087-9156639

Photos from the Event:

Aurivo Dairy Ingredients

Aurivo Dairy Ingredients was built on a greenfield site in 1972. The site currently processes approx.. 380m litres of milk annually, collecting milk from over 1,000 farmers from across 16 counties.

By being an active member of Bord Bia’s Origin Green, Aurivo’s  dairy business is dedicated to the sustainability charter; to reduce environmental impact, serve our communities responsibly and protecting natural resources, through measured improvements in raw material sourcing, our manufacturing processes and social sustainability.

In 2014, Aurivo became the first large scale dairy processor in Ireland to install a biomass wood energy facility, which is using 30,000 tonnes of woodchip per annum to displace 70% of the Dairy Ingredients’ site heavy fuel oil and reducing carbon emissions by 50% in the process.


Aaron Forde, CEO

Aaron Forde has been Chief Executive Officer of Aurivo Co-operative Society Limited since 1st March 2004.  He is a Director and Chairman of Ornua, a member of the Sligo Local Enterprise Board and a member of IBEC National Council.

Prior to that he was a Director of Thomas McDonogh & Sons responsible for the fertiliser and feed trading businesses of the Group.

Mr Forde has considerable experience in the Agri/Food sector having served as Managing Director of Adams Food Ingredients from 1993 – 2001 and prior to that having held senior positions with Kerry Foods and Laird Foods, part of Food Industries Plc.

A graduate of University College Cork with an Honours B.Sc (Food Business) degree and diploma in Dairy Science.


Aurivo Farm Profitability Programme

The Aurivo Farm Profitability Programme is led by Dr Roberta McDonald, with an objective of increasing farm sustainability by working with farmers, local stakeholders and the national industry to improve profitability to Aurivo’s dairy farming families. The programme aims to be an all-inclusive programme for farmers, focussing on sustainable farm profits and bringing best practice and new research principles closer to farmers.

A number of seminars, events and focus farm walks are hosted as part of the programme, including, drainage events, succession clinics, soil fertility workshops, new entrant workshops and grassland pods in each county.


Kevin Moran, Aurivo Focus Farm

Kevin Moran is a 22 year old dairy farmer originally from Mayo and set out milking on a leased farm from his uncle in 2013. After winning Teagasc Student of the year and more recently the Nuffield scholarship, Kevin has managed to grow his farm to currently milking over 90 cows. Kevin’s main objective going forward is to focus on 6-week calving rate and tonnes of grass utilised per ha.

Although it was not easy to develop a farm like this at such a young age, Kevin now has the insight and experience to develop his farm into a profitable business.


Philip O’Connor, IFAC Agri-Support Manager

Philip joined IFAC’s area development team in 2005 having spent a number of years as an agricultural consultant with Southwestern Services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science from the University of Aberystwyth (Wales) and a Master of Business from the University of Limerick.

Philip has been key to the development and delivery of IFAC’s Limited Company Turnkey Package, and the development of IFAC’s management accounting and profit monitor services. Having successfully combined his area development and agricultural development portfolios for a number of years, Philip now focuses solely on helping IFAC’s members and clients achieve their farming goals.

A keen rugby supporter, dairy farmer’s son and family man, Philip is a native of Cashel, Co. Tipperary.