Cork-based Glenilen Farm is expanding into the UK, with five of its yoghurt products being listed from today across over 150 Sainsbury’s outlets.

Alan and Valerie Kingston are the founders of Glenilen and the farmers from which the business takes its name.

Alan Kingston said the expansion comes at an interesting time, given the challenges for Irish food producers exporting into the UK market.

He said: "We have been knocking on Sainsbury’s door and indeed many of the retailers in the UK for the last number of months and even years, and it’s a long and slow process.

Glenilen launched into some of the UK’s high-end grocery retailers in 2012, including Waitrose.

"We’ve ourselves there, we’ve proven that there’s a market for Irish product there ... and we’ve proved that our product really works."

On the threat from Brexit to exporting to the UK, Mr Kingston said there will be huge implications, but that there are some things that will never change.

"Our geographical location to the UK – that certainly won’t change. The quality of food we produce here in Ireland – that’s not going to change, and I think the third thing is the UK consumer likes Irish food ... and in fact views Irish food as local."

Valerie Kingston said the company has come a long way since it started in 1997.

She said: "It’s a small farm in west Cork, traditional on 60 acres. We started making the products in the kitchen".

Support from Bord Bia and Enterprise Ireland helped the operation to grow and in 2012 it began exporting.

Glenilen is also looking at other export markets for its produce in light of the Brexit vote.

Alan Kingston said: "What Brexit has brought to us is a new opportunity actually to get to the next level of food production, preparing our product for larger and further away markets."

Valerie Kingston said there will also be opportunities for the company in its home market.

"There is still only one third of consumers aware of us here, and also 75% of the yoghurt on shop shelves here is imported, so we believe there is still plenty of potential for us to grow and maybe replace those imports as well."

Morning briefs:

Three Irish businesses, two in food service and one in food production, begin this week with news of overseas expansion.

Camile Thai, the franchise founded by entrepreneur Brody Sweeney, has opened its first outlet in London. 

Ireland's largest coffee chain, Insomnia, has unveiled a slate of new store openings mostly in Ireland and the UK - where it operates in 140 locations so far - but also for the first time in Germany where it will open towards the end of the year.

And Glenilen Farm has secured a listing with one of the largest UK retailers, Sainsbury's, and will begin selling five of its yoghurt products today in over 150 stores.


Peer-to-peer lender Linked Finance has received full authorisation from the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.

That paves the way for Linked Finance to enter the UK market.

Peer-to-peer lending a form of non-bank finance where individuals who have money they are willing to lend connect directly with those looking for funding for a project or business.

The sector is still in its infancy in Ireland, though the Department of Finance has initiated a public consultation process on how it might be regulated here.

Linked Finance has facilitated €25m worth of loans to small and medium sized Irish companies since it launched in 2013. 


After rallying more than 5% last week, oil prices consolidated gains in early trade this morning.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets in Vienna this Thursday.

The cartel is to discuss extending a production cap, which is due to end in June.

The 24 members, plus Russia, had agreed to limit supplies between January and June in an effort to support higher prices. 

Saudi Arabia and Russia announced last week they were in favour of extending the production cap from the end of June until the first quarter of 2018.

The international benchmark oil contract Brent crude rose by almost 1% this morning and passed $54 a barrel for the first time since early April.