Company Watch: Ornua weathered 25% Trump tariff through lockdown baking craze

Despite a tariff which put premium brand Kerrygold at twice the price of its competitors in the US, overall sales jumped by 13 per cent in 2020

John Jordan, chief executive at Ornua: the company’s main product, Kerrygold, has grown to become Ireland’s only consumer food brand with annual sales in excess of €1 billion. Picture: Marc O‘Sullivan

When Donald Trump announced in October 2019 that the US would place a 25 per cent tariff on all imports of European butter, John Jordan, the Ornua chief executive, knew he had a problem. Of the near 40,000 tons of European butter imported by the US last year, over 90 per cent comes from Ireland and is sold under the Kerrygold brand.

“The tariffs announced by the Trump administration in 2019 were designed to make ...