People, events and happenings around the country, presented by Damien O'Reilly.
The fodder crisis rumbles on and news this week that the knackeries which dispose of dead animals reported a 40% increase in farm animal deaths in the first 3 months of the year just confirms what we know already. Damien talked to a selection of people affected and it is not a pretty picture. Jimmy Lambe is a fallen animal collector from Shercock, Co Cavan; Catherine McCollum is a sheep farmer from Cavan; Jimmy Brett's firm, Brett Bros Feeds is in Waterford; and Gabriel Gilmartin is from ICSA, Sligo.
Grant Thornton and Good Food Ireland have published their 2013 Food Tourism Industry Report, ‘Driving and Mobilising Growth by Leveraging Irish Food and Food Tourism’. If you ignore the jargonistic title, the report confirms the shift in consumer trends towards the importance of buying local and that producing "real" food is not just a trendy fad but is "real" good business.
Pat Bourke of Grant Thornton takes Damien through what the report says....
Damien called into artisan goats cheese producer Michael Finnegan of Boyne Valley Blue Farmhouse Cheese at Mullagha Farm, Slane, Co Meath, to see if it's all true.
Mullagha Farm, Slane, Co Meath
Tel: 086 384416
For the report --www.goodfoodireland.ie/
We take it for granted in Ireland that there is a ready supply of food, but that is not the case all over the world. We have 2 major Conferences on world food production in Dublin as part of our holding of the EU Presidency- Monday sees the Hunger, Nutrition and Climate Justice meeting in Dublin Castle and last Thursday and Friday saw the The Food Security Futures conference. Ollie Moore has been following the whole area of global food for a long time now and he was at this week's Food security conference and filled Damien in.
Food Securities Futures Conference: www.pim.cgiar.org/food-security-futures-conference/
Hunger, Nutrition and Climate Justice Meeting: www.dci.gov.ie/what-we-do/dublin-conference/
Also, on Monday 15th April at 7.15pm at Raddisson Blue Hotel in Dublin a companion event -Climate Justice Begins at Home- it's open to everyone. This is jointly organised by Friends of Earth Ireland, Trócaire, Oxfam, Christian Aid and members of the Irish Food Sovereignty network.
Farmer Nelson Mkwaila introduced fertiliser trees like Gliricidia in his maize and fruit fields. Image: Charlie Pye-Smith/Agroforestry Food Security Programme/Flickr.
Frances Shanahan was in Ballycroy in County Mayo to have a look at the 7,000 acres of mountain land and commonage which has been destroyed in the spate of fires across the country. There she talked to several of the local farmers who had various horror stories about what happened – in one case the fire went as far as burning the fence around their house before stopping.
Susan Callaghan, District Officer with the National Parks and Wildlife Service in Ballycroy National Park, went on to describe the damage to one of the country’s most important national parks.
Michael O'Leary runs his annual Aberdeen Angus sale at Gigginstown House, near Mullingar in Westmeath, on Saturday 20th April. He tells Damien about his passion for Aberdeen Angus, for farming, why he doesn't really need the single farm payment all that much and about the JT McNamara fund.
Damien braved the throng of fans to catch Kieran O’Dowd from Gurteen, Co. Sligo, the newly elected President of Macra na Feirme. Kieran has been a member of South Sligo Macra since 2004 and is currently National Chairman and North West Vice-President. He is the first Macra President to hail from County Sligo. You can listen the interview here.
Damien O'Reilly and the CountryWide team feature the events, people and happenings that bring colour and life to communities, towns and villages across the country