RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 14

Ear to the Ground

Nowadays we all want to eat home produced food but sometimes it's hard to be sure that's what we are getting. Lots of our pork is now being imported leaving it relatively unclear to consumers in what country their meat originated. Now, to prove the provenance of your pork chop, you can get a paternity test! The initiative will see every boar in Ireland sampled and his DNA profile collected on a database, meaning that every piece of pork we eat can be fully traceable. Ella McSweeney asks how the programme will work and what benefits it will have for consumers and for the Irish agri-food industry.

Bunbury boards are the brainchild of William Bunbury, who, after inheriting the beautiful Lisnavagh Estate in Co Carlow needed to find a sustainable way of making the estate financially viable. The simple chopping board he's created is making a name for itself in the UK and the US because of its several unique selling points. Firstly, every board is made from wood from the estate, only trees that have fallen naturally are used and there's a number stamped on the back of each board which gives its history and the history of the tree it came from. Helen Carroll meets the man behind this enterprise that has turned an empty farmyard into one that's thriving again.

The local mart is a hub of life and commerce in rural towns, so when Sixmilebridge Mart in Co Clare was sold in 2009, local farmers and businesses knew that drastic action needed to be taken to keep the town alive. In June 2011 after much negotiation,a co-operative of farmers and local business owners bought the mart for ¤300,000. They had sold 600 shares at ¤500 per share. In addition to creating jobs at the mart, local businesses are finding that their enterprises are enjoying improved business, particularly on mart day. Darragh McCullough travels to Clare to meet some of the people behind the initiative.

Ear to the Ground is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ

What's On