NDC launches new dairy training programme

NDC launches new dairy training programme

At the launch of the National Dairy Council training programme were: Laura Murphy, Musgrave; Jean Baptise, cheesemaker, Hegarty's Farm, Whitechurch, and Chef Lilly Higgins. Picture: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

THE National Dairy Council is delighted to announce a new specialist online training programme focusing on nutrition and cheese production.

The cheese production videos were both filmed in Cork, a video on large-scale cheese production was filmed at the Carbery cheese factory at Balineen which famously makes Dubliner cheeses. Whilst the Artisan farmhouse cheese video was filmed at Dan Hegarty’s farm at Whitechurch.

The training programme is funded by an EU programme designed to support the food service industries impacted by Covid in Ireland, France, Denmark, Belgium, and Northern Ireland.

Bord Bia estimated that the food industry in Ireland contracted by half during the pandemic crisis where restaurants, pubs, hotels, coffee shops, workplaces, hospitals, and educational canteens all closed.

Musgrave is Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale, and food service company employing more than 30,000 people. NDC worked closely with the Musgrave Learning & Development Team to create bespoke tailored training modules that will train and upskill retail staff in the benefits of dairy nutrition and the cheese production process.

The nutrition module was produced with Dr Marianne Walsh, Senior Nutritionist at NDC, and covers all the essential information around the importance and value of dairy in the diet. The module on Cheese Production focuses on Irish grass-fed dairy, the development of small artisan farmhouse cheeses, and large-scale cheddar cheese production in Ireland.

Laura Murphy, Talent, Learning & Development Business Partner Musgrave, said: “We were delighted to partner with the National Dairy Council to develop these two Dairy eLearning modules where participants learn about the unique aspects of Irish dairy and discover the various techniques used in both artisan cheesemaking and large-scale cheddar production.

“In Musgrave, we are passionate about our brands, our food, and our people. Developing the skills and product knowledge of our people ensures we deliver the highest quality service to every customer each time they shop in our SuperValu and Centra Stores.

“The Dairy Nutrition and Cheese Production modules are a great addition to the suite of Learning & Development tools available to all our stores.

Recent research undertaken by NDC showed a 48% increase in dairy consumption during the pandemic. Nearly one-third of young adults without children indicated that their consumption of dairy products has increased since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. This increase is significantly higher for young adults with children, almost half (i.e. 48%) of these respondents say their milk consumption has increased by nearly 50%. This was largely due to the increase in at-home meal occasions and more home cooking by families in general.

The European dairy sector showed incredible resilience through the 18 months of the pandemic with an uninterrupted supply of milk and dairy products to supermarkets, shops, and the foodservice sector (Western Europe retail dairy sold extra 1,900,000 tonnes in 2020).

Cathy Curran, communications manager with the National Dairy Council said: “We are delighted to be launching this new EU campaign to support Musgraves by providing specialist training and education on Irish dairy nutrition and cheese production. This training will really add value to staff working at dairy counters across Musgrave retail outlets in being able to offer advice and support to consumers when choosing cheese and dairy products.”

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