Our co-operative history begins from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when local co-operatives began churning butter in an effort to improve the viability of local farming communities, create employment and develop economic activity in areas of high unemployment and emigration. The setting up of local co-operatives was established with the encouragement of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS, now ICOS).
Achonry – Riverstown – Gurteen – Kilbarron – Ballaghaderreen – Kinlough – Ballintrillick were founded this year.
Rathscanlon – Kilmactranny – Ballaghadereen and Ballymote co-ops were set up in 1898.
Ballymote and Ballintrillick co-ops scored a victory over proprietary creameries when they won second and third place respectively at the London Dairy Show. Because of its high held reputation for efficiency, Ballymote was selected as a training centre for creamery management to supplement the training courses at the Albert College, Dublin and Model Farm, Cork.
NCF becomes the milk brand of choice in the West, as North Connacht Farmers’ Co-operative Society (NCF) was formed with the amalgamation of four co-ops in the North West of Ireland, Achonry, Rathscanlon (Tubbercurry), Riverstown, and Kilmactranny. Over the next two years, six other co-ops in the region, Gurteen, Ballaghadereen, Kinlough, Kilbarron (Ballyshannon), Palmerstown (Killala) and Ballintrillick, followed suit and joined NCF.
NCF began 10 years sponsoring the All Ireland Triathlon.
Connacht Gold Low Fat butter is launched. It’s the first half fat butter to market in Ireland, winning numerous awards including “Best New Product in Ireland” by the National Food Centre and the Irish Shows Association. “Innovation Award” at IFEX –the International Food Exhibition, and nomination and certificate from the Irish Food Writers Guild.
Connacht Gold launches national advertising campaign to promote its Low Fat butter.
Connacht Gold butter supports the Chernobyl Children’s Project humanitarian aid convoy organised by Adi Roche.
NCF milk was renamed Connacht Gold to coincide with the merger of NCF Co operative Society and Kiltoghert Co op.
Awards for Connacht Gold Creamery and Garlic & Herb butter at Blas na hEireann Irish food awards.
Staff celebrate win at the ‘Food Oscars’! Connacht Gold Softer Butter wins the ultimate accolade at the Great Taste Awards- 3 Gold Stars. Out of almost 9,000 food products entered by 1,800 companies, just 123 products were awarded three stars – the definition of “an exquisite food that has that indefinable something extra”.
Connacht Gold Low Fat butter launches first TV advertising campaign in over 20 years.
Connacht Gold has a strong social history in the West of Ireland.