Co-op campaign aims to enlist community support for local firms

ONE of the country’s leading dairy co-ops has launched a summer campaign to encourage communities in Connacht to get out and support businesses and employment in their own region.

Connacht Gold employs 564 people directly while its business supports 650 others, such as milk agents and maintenance workers, through indirect employment.

One of the biggest employers in the west, it invests €26.7 million in the local economy through salaries and wages alone, and over €70m in milk payments to suppliers.

Connacht Gold said local people from across the province have volunteered to give voice to its message and will be highlighting the importance of investing in local produce.

Richard Ellis, whose family has been supplying milk to the west for three generations, said being a milk agent for Connacht Gold means he can work within the community.

“I can also build personal, long standing relationships with my customers. In some cases I have supplied five generations of the one family,” he said.

Mary Fox, general manager, Connacht Gold’s Food and Retail Division, said locally-based companies contribute a huge amount to the local economy.

“By enlisting those who benefit directly from this, we at Connacht Gold are hoping to highlight to consumers the important role that they play in supporting their families, neighbours and friends,” she said.

Connacht Gold chief executive, Aaron Forde said it was essential the Government recognised the importance of indigenous businesses to the regions and the contribution they can make to a recovery in the country’s economic fortunes.

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