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Lee Strand Cooperative Creamery Ltd

Membership Status:

Approved until 31 May 2021

Sector:

Dairy

About the company

Lee Strand is a co-operative society owned by its farmer shareholders and employs over 100 people across the various business units. Lee Strand’s main activity is the processing and distribution of liquid milk in the Kerry, West Limerick and North Cork region. Established 100 years ago in 1920, the co-op operated its creamery and production operations in the heart of Tralee, County Kerry.

In 1992 Lee Strand relocated to its new custom designed production premises on a 10 acre site at Ballymullen in Tralee. In 2019, Lee Strand made a significant manufacturing investment of €2 million to launch the Tetra Rex® Bio-based carton. The revolutionary carton and cap is 100% renewable, 100% recyclable and is made from materials that can be traced back to a plant-based source

Key Sustainability Commitments

Commitment to Sustainable Sourcing

Lee Strand will source all of its liquid milk supply from farmers approved under Bord Bia's Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme by 2018. In addition, Lee Strand has created a Knowledge Transfer Group.

The group members attend meetings and undertake projects on their farm, including the carbon navigator and animal health and grassland management plans. The group shares information and examples regarding best practice.


Involvement in the Local Community

Lee Strand donate a percentage of each carton of milk sold to charity. Lee Strand provide a scholarship for young farmers to attend third level education and obtain a degree in an agriculture-related discipline. Lee Strand also host a number of school tours each academic year.


Exemplary Performance Target Areas

Minimum Origin Green Targets Required annually = 6

Spotlight Target Area: Community Engagement

A fundamental principle in Lee Strand’s ethos is: supporting the community, protecting the environment and it takes great pride in supporting the community in many different ways. Their Origin Green plan is led by Plant Manager James Sugrue and supported by the CEO and a cross functional team. Lee Strand was assisted in the development of their Origin Green plan by Veronica Kennelly from the Institute of Technology Tralee. 

As part of their sustainability plan Lee Strand introduced a scholarship scheme for young farmers in 2012 ensuring that future liquid milk suppliers gain the most up to date training in farm practices. The scholarship enables young farmers to study at Third Level and obtain a formal qualification in an agriculture related discipline. 

To date 9 scholarships have been awarded – 5 of those being in 2019 exceeding their targeted commitment of 2 that year. Lee Strand also provides work placement for students from the Institute of Technology Tralee and work shadowing opportunities for second level students. The company has a target of donating 6 cent for each carton of milk sold to support many community, sporting and charitable organisations and events. In 2019 they exceeded this target by donating 9.7 cent per carton of milk sold. 

Information Sessions for Suppliers

In addition, the Co-Op invests in time and effort to keep their community of local milk suppliers informed about key sustainability issues and set up a Knowledge Transfer Group Scheme to do this. Lee Strand only source milk that is from suppliers certified to the Bord Bia Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme. 

The group regularly hosts information sessions for their suppliers bringing in guest speakers to share knowledge and facilitate discussions on improving their sustainability performance by examining topics such as soil profiles and soil fertility, chlorine free detergents, animal health and nutrition and grass utilisation.

Sustainability and environmental management are key elements of the Lee Strand business model.

Gearoid Linnane, CEO

 

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