Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sustainability & Organics with Altitude 2: the local dimension

What's local about Omega Beef Direct:

well, what isn't? The farm and food business are located in the Knockmealdown mountains, on the Tipperary Waterford border. Every aspect has a local dimension, from the beginning to the end.
  • Firstly, the Galloway breed has lived in the uplands of Ireland, including the Knockmealdowns, for at least 1000 years.
  • Some of the stock comes from on farm breeding.
  • Then there's the feed: local plants growing out of the ground beneath the cattle's feet. No brought in feeds are used, so all food eaten by the cattle is from the farm itself. Indeed, no intensive agri-industrial inputs are used, so all the growing the grass and animals do comes from the careful husbandry and farm management.
  • Slaughter happens in nearby Lismore, where Michael McGrath has decades and indeed generations of experience as an artisan butcher catering for the needs of local farmers. The meat is packed back on the farm itself in a dedicated packing unit, and hung for 3 weeks.
  • Packaging is done on the farm itself
  • Packaging and branding reflect the local dimension, as does the website.
  • Retail is mainly local too: most of the meat sold is sold through Dungarvan farmers' market, while a new stall has also been opened in Clonmel. Even the Waterford city chef who feature's Omega Beef Direct burgers on his menu comes to the farmers' market in Dungarvan to purchase. The only shop to stock Omega Beef Direct meat is Ardkeen quality food store, also in Waterford.
So along with the very self sufficient farm, that's Clonmel, Lismore, Dungarvan and Waterford city. In other words, the two counties the farm straddles, and all within an hour of the farm.

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