Clona Dairy Products

Membership approved until 1st May 2018

Business Background


Product Range
Liquid milk, cultured milks and creams (sour cream and crème fraîche), flavoured cultured milks, flavoured fresh milks and fresh whipped cream.

Specialists In
Producing a range of dairy products, including milk, cream, buttermilk, sour cream and crème fraîche. Clóna's products are available in all leading stores throughout Cork city and county.

Clóna Dairy Products Ltd was established by the Hurley family in 1919, and was one of the first dairies in the country to pasteurise milk in 1955. Then known as Strand Dairy Ltd, the company has had a number of different names; in 1992 it became Clóna Dairy Products Society Ltd. This name in turn changed to Clóna Dairy Products Ltd in 2013.

Three local co-operatives – Bandon, Barryroe and Lisavaird – purchased the company in 1989. A major programme of modernisation was carried out in the plant and onsite. Standardised food quality and food safety management systems were achieved in the dairy after a major expansion, including ISO 9002/EN 29002 and the Quality Mark in 1992.

In the mid 1990s, Clóna Dairy Products Ltd set up Clóna West Cork Foods. Clóna then purchased Dawn Dairies and Ballinahina Dairies, along with the production site in Ballinahina. All production was then moved to Clonakilty, with Ballinahina now solely used as a distribution and storage facility, with office space.”

Key Sustainability Commitments

Raw Material Sourcing

  • Commitment to source any additional milk/cream from SDAS approved suppliers.

Manufacturing Processes

  • Energy: A 2% year on year reduction in energy per unit output for each year of the 5-year plan period from a 2016 baseline year, resulting in a cumulative 10% reduction over the lifetime of the plan.
  • Biodiversity: 1000 trees planted in the West Cork area under the Clóna Tree Planting Project.
  • Waste: Reduce the volume sent for skip waste to landfill and increase recycling through better segregation, particularly in the office environment.
  • Water: Reduce water usage by 20% and upgrade and improve effluent treatment process.

Social Sustainability

  • Bring mindfulness into the workplace.

Unique Selling Points

Clóna Dairy Products Ltd produces milk for West Cork in West Cork. It was the first dairy in Ireland to have all suppliers accredited under SDAS (Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme).

In addition, Clóna Dairy Products Ltd is located on the Wild Atlantic Way, which has a long tradition of expertise in dairy production.

Awards & Accreditations

  • The company has been a recipient of Great Taste Awards and Blas na hÉireann Awards .
  • ISO FSSC 22000, NDC Accreditation, SDAS Accredited.

Case Study

Sustainability headlines

  • First dairy processor to have 100% of suppliers accredited to SDAS
  • 10% reduction in energy per unit output over lifetime of Origin Green plan
  • Mindfulness training to be delivered to all employees


Clóna Dairy Products was established in Cork in 1919, with acquisition by three local co-operatives in 1989 initiating a period of investment and expansion.

Producing a range of high-quality dairy products including milk, buttermilk, cream and crème fraiche from its manufacturing site in Sand Quay, Clonakilty, Clóna Dairy Products is one of the leading producers of dairy products in Munster. In 2016, it became the first dairy company in Ireland to have 100% of suppliers accredited to Bord Bia’s Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS).

In 2015, the company obtained the globally-recognised GFI ISO FSSC 22000 accreditation and is also accredited by the National Dairy Council.

Clóna Dairy Products employs 100 full–time staff and 25 sub–agents. The company produces private label products for some of Ireland’s top retailers, including Musgraves, Aldi and Lidl, and exports product to the UK and continental Europe. Clóna Dairy Products has won Great Taste Awards, Blas na hÉireann awards, and Food and Drink Awards.

Sustainability credentials

Sustainability comes as second nature to Clóna Dairy Products, with the company having an almost century-old connection with the suppliers and farmers in West Cork. In 2016, they became the first dairy in the country to have 100% of suppliers accredited to SDAS, which sets out the requirements for best practice on farms in animal health and welfare, land management, biosecurity, safe farming practices and the production of safe milk.

Further supporting its commitment to sustainability, the company has taken a number of actions in recent years including: insulation of all pipework within the facility; recycling of all waste packaging and cardboard on site; establishment of a new electricity substation; construction of a new effluent treatment facility and the building of new changing rooms with sensor taps and lighting.

Origin Green in action

Clóna Dairy Products envisages Origin Green membership as delivering a number of benefits to the company in terms of improved financial performance and stronger stakeholder relationships. Performance targets have been set in the areas of raw materials, manufacturing and social sustainability.

In the area of raw material sourcing, the company commits to sourcing any additional dairy inputs from SDAS approved suppliers and to maintaining existing SDAS accreditation. It will incorporate a sustainability questionnaire into its supplier approval procedure and, by the end of 2021, have developed supplier agreements around improved transport and delivery practices.

In the area of manufacturing, a stretch target has been set for a 2% year-on-year reduction in energy per unit output, resulting in a cumulative 10% fall over the lifetime of the Origin Green plan. Energy reductions will be delivered by measures that include insulation of all pipework; an energy efficiency audit; redevelopment of office and laboratory spaces; introduction of new cold storage facilities; energy efficient lighting and improved heat recovery.

A further target in manufacturing includes reducing volumes sent for skip waste, and 20% reductions in paper use and water usage.

Social responsibility

Since the 1980s, Clóna Dairy Products has been actively involved in the sponsorship of Irish charities and local GAA teams. The company is also sponsor of Ireland’s first Rural Bike Rental scheme and has been the main provider to the school milk scheme in Cork since 1985.

Over the next five years, the company has set itself the innovative target of introducing and developing the concept of mindfulness throughout the business. By the end of 2021, 100% of employees will have been introduced the concept.

Health and nutrition is a key focus for Clóna Dairy Products and it plans to develop new products and change existing recipes to clean label formulations. Clóna Dairy Products has made an R&D commitment to developing dairy products that do not contain added sugar or artificial colours or flavours.

Ongoing improvement

Through Origin Green, Clóna Dairy Products plans to offset its own carbon footprint and contribute to local biodiversity through a tree-planting scheme. The company has set a target of planting a thousand native Irish trees over the next four years. The trees will be given to raw milk suppliers and employees and the project will launch during National Tree Week in March

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