An Effin good range of cheeses

A FIRM operating from a former creamery with a famous name in Limerick is now tickling the tastebuds of cheese consumers across Ireland and abroad.

The Old Irish Creamery range of 18 products has won some 58 international awards over the past three years.

Last year alone, JOD Food Products, a family-run business in Effin, took four gold, six silver, four bronze, and two highly commended awards at the world’s largest cheese show in Nantwick, Cheshire, England.

Now, the parish with the intriguing name — derived from St Eifinn — is set to be further promoted in stores across Britain.

A selection of cheeses from JOD are about to be marketed there under the Effin brand name.

In Ireland the company supplies Tesco, Dunnes Stores, SuperValu, Aldi, Musgrave, Pallas Foods, and more countrywide.

A new distributor has been appointed for the British market and another is being put in place for the US. Product is also exported to France, Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Greece.

The business was founded in 1992 by Jim O’Doherty, an experienced cheese maker and grader, who was on the Golden Vale staff in Charleville for 25 years.

Effin Creamery, whose premises he bought, began back in 1902 when a group of farmers came together to join the dairy co-op movement.

Today, Jim, assisted by wife Lulu and operations director son James, with commercial manager Pat Kinnane, run the business.

With a staff of nine, it has a state-of-the-art production plant and has achieved British Retail Consortium accreditation.

Quality is a key underlying factor. All cheese is 100% Irish handcrafted with 100% natural ingredients.

Jim said the prestigious awards won so far are a mark of the range of quality products produced. “The vision of the company is to create a world-class Irish food brand that can compete in the global markets,” he said.

Jim said he greatly appreciates the support the company has received from shops, retail chains, the community, and others since setting up Effin Creamery.

The logo designed for the company’s product range shows a pony and cart with milk churns outside the creamery with a towering brick chimney in the background.

Local milk suppliers carted the bricks from Charleville train station to Effin for the construction of the premises over 100 years ago.

The chimney still stands, symbolising the efforts of those who developed butter and cheese making in Effin and the heritage that is now being continued by JOD Foods.

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