Our Story & History
Our co-operative history begins from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when local co-operatives began churning butter in an effort to improve the viability of local farming communities, create employment and develop economic activity in areas of high unemployment and emigration. The setting up of local co-operatives was established with the encouragement of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS, now ICOS).
These local co-operatives at this time were:
Founded in 1897
Found in 1898
In 1904, Ballymote and Ballintrillick co-ops scored a victory over proprietary creameries when they won second and third place respectively at the London Dairy Show. Because of its high held reputation for efficiency, Ballymote was selected as a training centre for creamery management to supplement the training courses at the Albert College, Dublin and Model Farm, Cork.
Founded in 1958
1972: Consolidation and North Connacht Farmers
North Connacht Farmers’ Co-operative Society (NCF) was formed in 1972 with the amalgamation of four co-ops in the North West of Ireland, Achonry, Rathscanlon (Tubbercurry), Riverstown, and Kilmactranny. Over the next two years, six other co-ops in the region, Gurteen, Ballaghadereen, Kinlough, Kilbarron (Ballyshannon), Palmerstown (Killala) and Ballintrillick, followed suit and joined NCF.
The first major dairy processing plant in the west of Ireland was opened in 1972 at Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon by Connacht Foods Limited. By 1974 NCF, Mid West Co-op and Kiltoghert Co-op bought the plant and formed Shannonside Milk Products Limited. The ownership of Shannonside Milk Products Ltd. remained with the three cooperatives up until 1996 when Mid West Co-op withdrew interest from the partnership. By 2000 Shannonside Milk Products became part of Connacht Gold following the merger of NCF and Kiltoghert.
2000: Consolidation continues – Connacht Gold Co-operative is formed
Connacht Gold was established on 1st November, 2000 following the merger of the North Connacht Farmers’ Co-operative Society (NCF) and Kiltoghert Co-Operative Agricultural & Dairy Society Ltd.
Kiltoghert, was established in 1902 by a collection of farmers in the parish of Kiltoghert, just outside Carrick-on-Shannon.In the 1930’s, Kiltoghert expanded and took over the South Leitrim creameries at Mohill and Boornacoola and by the 1960’s had established agricultural branches in Castlerea and Athleague. Kiltoghert co-op had 3,500 shareholders and a milk supply of approximately 9 million gallons produced by 340 suppliers in Leitrim, Roscommon, East Galway and West Longford.
Through the 2000’s Connacht Gold invested heavily in the expansion of capacity at the Dairy Ingredients facility in Ballagahdereen, Co. Roscommon, modernisation of the retail store businesses with the broadening of customer offerings into Garden Centres and Pet care to appeal to a wider urban customer base and the converting of the Balla mart livestock trading centre to become the most modern and largest centre in the West of Ireland.
2012: Connacht Gold buys Donegal Creamies
In 2012 Donegal Creameries plc., agreed the sale to Connacht Gold of its milk and agristore businesses. This new business increased the milk pool for Connacht Gold by 30% to 350M litres and increased the number of stores from 29 outlets to 41. The business turnover increased to €400M and staff employed from 570 to over 700. The consolidation of this business had firmly put Connacht Gold as the largest milk processor and co-operative in the West of Ireland.
2013: A New Identity: Aurivo Co-operative Society Limited
2013 saw the launch of our new identity Aurivo after two years of intensive market research, interviewing over 1,700 stakeholders and challenging our business to build platforms for our continued growth into the future in our new brand architecture. Prior to the new identity, all business parts was branded “Connacht Gold” and from our research our customers and stakeholders told us clearly that as a business the true essence of the Connacht Gold brand in dairy was lost. This was a new challenge for our business to address.
Our challenge in creating a new identity for our enlarged business was to create a name that would respect our history and our heritage, reflect our cultural values and be true to our co-operative ethos:
- Community Sustainability
- Customer Relationships
- Going the Extra Mile
Our new brand Aurivo is built on the values of listening, community support, sustaining lives, sustaining economic activity.
We listen to and engage with people to sustain, to develop community, to support life