CO-OP FOUNDING AND EXPANSION
Lisavaird Co-op was started in 1925 by an enterprising group of local farmers who saw the co-op structure as the ideal means to enhance farmers livelihoods by coming together to market their produce, purchase their farm requirements and learn from each other. To this day this is still the core principle of the Co-op. Milk was purchased from it’s farmer members and manufactured into butter with the skim from the process being returned to the farm to feed their animals. Milk intake for the first year was 700,000 litres. Stores were built to provide it’s members with the necessary inputs for their farms. Within a few years the Co-op had expanded to 10 branches.
In 1968 Carbery Milk Products began it’s cheese making operations in Ballineen with the business being taken into the joint ownership of the four West Cork Co-op’s in 1992. Butter manufacture in the Co-ops’ now ceased with all milk being centrally processed in Carbery. Since 2015 when milk quotas were abolished Lisavaird Co-op milk suppliers have grown their output by fifty percent now producing more than 120 million litres of milk annually for cheese manufacture.
Over the years the Co-op has expanded from it’s farming roots to embrace the wider West Cork Community to which it supplies fuels, hardware, household goods, building materials and much more from it’s six branches and central hardware and grocery store in Lisavaird.
THE FOOD GROUP
Beginning in 2009 the Co-op has diversified into other food manufacturing areas. It now owns and operates a number of food processing facilities producing cooked meats, cakes and confectionary, fish and shellfish products and dairy spreads.