This area is part of the renowned Golden Vale, with its extensive rolling grasslands having a well-earned reputation as being amongst the finest agricultural land in all of Europe.
Sheep Milk Ireland has a large flock of grass-fed dairy sheep that are ideally suited to the conditions in Ireland. This flock is now at over 4,000 in number, and growing! Our aim is to combine Ireland’s strengths in sheep, grass and dairy production to create the finest milk-based products in the world.
Globally, there is a growing demand for premium, speciality dairy products, with an emphasis on digestibility, nutrition, sustainability and importantly, taste!
Ireland is perfectly positioned to establish another world class large-scale grass-based dairy industry and satisfying the world’s demand for alternative, specialty dairy with nutritious, sustainably produced sheep milk.
Irish sheep milk caters for this demand because:
- 50% higher in protein & fat than cow or goat milk
- Contains A2 protein only and contains high levels of middle and short chain fatty acids, which all support better digestion.
- Full of vitamins & minerals (70% more calcium than cow’s milk) and other important bioactives, such as Lactoferrin. There is 8 times more lactoferrin in sheep milk than cow’s milk.
- Sheep milk has a sweet, rich, creamy taste.
- Better for the environment – less nitrates leaching and lower GHG emissions per hectare.
- Better animal welfare practices with a high level of natural rearing of the lambs.
- Irish sheep milk comes from a unique grass based dairy production model, similar to the principles of the successful cow industry in Ireland.
Meet the team
Michael Crosse – Executive director
Michael has a huge passion for farming and was the catalyst for this venture. When researching his options to enter full-time farming with his brother Brendan, they felt sheep milk offered the most exciting route for them to go down.
Michael graduated from University College Dublin with a BAgrSc Degree in Agricultural Science through the Walsh Fellowship Programme, as well completing a MSc in Grassland and Dairy production through Teagasc Moorepark.
Brendan Crosse – Executive director
Brendan has a different but complementary skillset to Michael, having more of an interest in the food sector of the farming business. He jumped at the opportunity to join Michael in Sheep Milk Ireland as it offered the opportunity to create a vertical integrated business from farm to plate.
Brendan graduated University College Dublin with a BSc of Science and an Erasmus Mundus Masters in Food Innovation and Product Design from three universities in Paris, Lund and Dublin.
John O’Connor – Non-executive Director
John is a highly-experienced professional that specialises in international markets. He has held board-level positions with companies in the aerospace, natural resource development and finance sectors. He was a founder investor in Rosario Bio Energy (Argentina) and the Chairman of Anglo African Minerals (Ire). Between 2012 and 2017, he was an advisor to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in Ireland.
Katie Cooper – Non-executive Director
Katie is a media professional with our 25 years of experience with the BBC in the UK. She worked across a range of departments from PR to TV production. She has a keen interest in building new companies that are focused on premium niche markets that have a positive impact on the environment.
THE FOCUS OF SHEEP MILK IRELAND IS TO DEVELOP INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS FOCUSED ON BOTH DOMESTIC AND EXPORT MARKETS.
Through its work with other dairy companies, Sheep Milk Ireland can offer a range of products to the market. The current focus is on the production of sheep milk powder ingredients, which can be used for cheese, bakery, specialised nutrition and other consumer products. This allows Sheep Milk Ireland to offer their milk to consumers around the world, especially those seeking a premium, natural alternative to cow’s & goat’s milk.
Sheep Milk Ireland are working closely with Moorepark technology to create innovative products. Moorepark have a boutique commercial-scale facility that is perfect for premium sheep milk products. The Irish State agency Teagasc are the controlling shareholder of Moorepark. It is one of the only Research & Development facilities of its type in the world that accommodates the entire process from farm to end product.
Food Works is a government-supported accelerator programme that helps develop the next generation of scalable and export-driven Irish food businesses. Food Works is run by Enterprise Ireland, Teagasc and the Irish food board, Bord Bia. Their rigorous programme helped Sheep Milk Ireland form its strategy and led to Enterprise Ireland investing in the business.
Sheep Milk Ireland, Cashel, Co. Tipperary