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GMO-FREE PRODUCTS: Irish company secured non-GE icecream contract for Middle East region






------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  MIDDLE EASTERN ICE QUEEN

SOURCE: The Sunday Business Post, Ireland

AUTHOR: Michelle Devane

URL:    http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=NEWS+FEATURES-qqqm=nav-qqqid=38100-qqqx=1.asp

DATE:   07.12.2008

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MIDDLE EASTERN ICE QUEEN

The country?s largest icecream manufacturer, Silver Pail Dairy, has secured a three-year contract with US ice-cream brand BaskinRobbins to produce 300,000 ice-cream cakes at its Fermoy plant for export to the Middle East.

Thea Murphy is managing director of the company, whose first branded ice-cream, Corrin Hill, has won gold and silver at the Great Taste and Catex awards.

The company - which uses 70 million litres of fresh milk every year - was approached by Baskin-Robbins almost three years ago to produce ice-cream for its European market.

?It needed a European manufacturer for its ice-cream sold in Europe, or else it would have to label all its icecream shipped from the US as genetically modified. It didn?t want that - it wanted a manufacturer that used natural products, so it chose us,? said Murphy, who negotiated the Middle East deal.

To date, Baskin-Robbins? ice-cream cakes have been produced at an artisan level in its American stores. They are now being made in Cork and shipped to the Middle East, where Baskin-Robbins has more than 500 ice-cream stores.

?It?s been a great challenge and very different for us. The cakes are high-end, premium and are hand-finished. They come in a 9-inch round cake and an 8-inch by 12-inch rectangular cake and are decorated with chocolate pieces or fruit,? Murphy said.

?Such cakes are very popular in the United States. In the Middle East, where most people don?t drink, it is customary to bring a cake to someone?s family lunch, so they are hugely popular over there, especially in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.?

Silver Pail was founded by Murphy?s father, Michael Murphy, and employs 60 fulltime workers in Fermoy. It manufactures natural ice-cream in a traditional way, using ingredients from local farms. It has almost doubled its production of ice-cream in the last five years.

While some other manufacturers have closed down, Silver Pail has continued to grow. Its business is almost equally divided between the retail market and the food service industry in the Irish and British markets. In volume terms, Silver Pail is the biggest ice-cream manufacturer in the country, producing almost 20 million litres of ice-cream each year. It has recorded increased turnover of between 20 and 25 per cent for the last three years, said Murphy.

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