Dan O’Callaghan Wyeth Nutritional Ireland, Dr Seamus O’Mahony UCC, Paul McSweeney UCC and Dr Mark Fenelon Teagasc pictured as University College Cork launches a new, innovative qualification for the dairy industry. Pic Gerard McCarthy
Many leading managers and representatives from the food industry and higher education gathered in UCC to launch a new postgraduate qualification dedicated to the dairy industry on May 9.
Dairy processing is a very significant pillar of the Irish economy. In 2013 export values for Irish dairy products and ingredients exceeded €3 billion making an enormous contribution to the domestic economy. The industry exports 85 per cent of all output produced, making Ireland the tenth largest dairy export nation globally.
Ireland’s dairy industry produces a wide range of consumer products and dairy ingredients. Consumer dairy products including butter, cheese, and dairy-derived products such as yogurts and dairy-based drinks, have now been complemented with dairy ingredients including milk-fat, milk protein, and other nutritional ingredients to cater to infant formula and sports nutrition markets amongst others.
The increased sophistication and complexity of the dairy product portfolio has been underpinned by significant advances in dairy sciences led by UCC and Teagasc in addition to the industry’s clear focus on constantly evolving trends in consumers’ lifestyles and consumption behaviours.
In recognition of the growth and diversification of the Irish dairy industry, UCC, in association with Teagasc, has developed a highly innovative, industry-focused, part-time, blended-learning Postgraduate Certificate in Dairy Technology and Innovation. This qualification is aimed to support the further education and training needs of people at work in the dairy industry.
Drawing on UCC’s 90 years’ experience in dairy science education and Teagasc’ dairy research expertise and in light of industry’s needs, UCC and Teagasc have decided to develop and launch this innovative programme.
Modules include milk production and quality, dairy chemistry, trends and dynamics across dairy markets, dairy processing technology, dairy microbiology and business processes across the supply chain.
In line with the development of a knowledge economy, this qualification will enable and empower dairy industry personnel and those wishing to join the industry to implement best practice and embrace new technological developments in dairy processing.
The programme will be market-led and delivered via blended learning, i.e., a mix of online and in-class sessions, designed to facilitate people at work in industry.