By Kristin Kenneally
DRIMOLEAGUE, Ireland – On a hill in County Cork, Glenilen Farm is a place of great romance.
“We started with two sauce pans and a Coca- Cola fridge in our kitchen,” said Alan Kingston. “Watching the entire dairy process revolutionized my life, I fell more in love with my cows and my wife.”
Alan’s wife, Valerie, is a dairy scientist who graduated from University College Cork. Once returning from her studies, Valerie returned to Drimoleague and Alan where Glenilen Farm began its existence. Alan, inherited the land from his father who was the third generation Kingston to own Glenilen.
Glenilen products, offered in glass jars as well as plastic, are a cut above.
“We started in glass because we had no plastic containers,” described Kingston, “all we had was left over jam jars. But we soon learned that glass maintains the flavor better than plastic.”
Alan’s passion for Glenilen is noticeable as he talks.
“Business is like an iceberg,” said Kingston. “People only see what is above the surface, but you really need to worry about what is below the surface – the employees, the ethos.”
In Ireland, Origin Green is a business’s pledge to ensure more sustainable business practices. To Alan, Origin Green has become a culture; knowing that every little thing he does effects the sustainability of Glenilen Farm.
“I come in on the weekends when the factory is asleep,” said Kingston, “and I listen. ‘Is there an air leak? Is there a drip? Are we wasting anything?’”
Although Glenilen is a small dairy producer compared to dairy co-ops, it has placement in many Irish grocery stores. Both Alan and Valerie hope to continue to grow the Glenilen line of products and have more and more people to “get to taste good, clean food.”