During the pandemic the source of our food became increasingly important, particularly when we struggled to get it. One way to improve food security is to build relationships with local food producers, and in particular those producing in a more sustainable way? Whether it’s meat, dairy or eggs there is pretty much a producer in every county. To find one in your area check out my list of Irish-based producers of organic & free range animal products below.
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Before we get into the ‘meat’ of this article (I do love a good pun) just a note to say that I debated whether to publish this article at all. Firstly we’ve clearly established that meat and dairy diets have a higher carbon footprint than plant-based diets, and secondly there’s the whole ethical issue around eating animals in the first place and/or how they’re treated in modern farming systems. If you want to read more about this check out my article on Sustainable Ethical Groceries.
That said, the goal of the website is to make it easier for people to make more sustainable choices, not to force my values on others and so I think it’s only fair that I provide information on farmers trying to operate in a more sustainable way so that you can live the life you want to lead. After all with two committed carnivores in my family the words glasshouses and stones comes to mind.
And before further delay here are the producers, arranged by county…
Organic Meat Producers
- Coolanowle Organic Farm – Carlow (beef, pork, bacon, lamb & chicken)
- Lakeview – Cavan (lamb)
- O’Leary Farm – Cork (beef & lamb)
- Duhallow Organic Meat – Cork (beef & lamb)
- Aherns Organic Farm – Cork (turkeys at Christmas)
- Lough Mountain – Galway (beef & lamb)
- Featherfield Farm – Kildare (beef, lamb & chicken)
- Cotters Organic lamb – Limerick, also use wool a packing material to keep their products cool in transit.
- Westernshore Organic Meat – Mayo (beef, pork, bacon, lamb, chicken & turkeys at Christmas)
- Hillside Farm – Roscommon (beef & lamb)
- Drumanilra Farm – Roscommon (beef, pork & lamb)
- Rare Ruminare – Sligo (beef, lamb & veal)
- Crawfords – Tipperary (beef, pork, bacon & duck)
- Regan Organics – Wexford (pork, chicken & duck)
- Culmore Organic Farm – Coleraine, NI (beef)
Non-organic Meat Suppliers
Some of the suppliers listed here use the term ‘free-range’ for their pork or bacon. Unfortunately the term ‘free-range’ only has legal standing in Ireland when used to describe poultry or eggs. That’s not to say that these suppliers aren’t providing better conditions for their animals, just that there is no agreed standard for ‘free range’ farming of pigs or inspections to check that it’s being adhered to.
- Salters Free Range Farm – Carlow (pigs & geese). Pigs roam outdoors and always have access to fresh vegetation, and warm straw bedded huts. Any grain given to them is grown on the farm. They also raise free range geese.
- Inagh Farm – Clare (pork & bacon, and beef & lamb from other farms)
- Burren Free Range Pork – Clare (breed pigs). These farmers use no chemical fertilisers, pesticides or medication in feed and don’t engage in tail docking, teeth filing or crates for sows. Their pigs have sheds with plenty of straw to shelter in when the weather is bad, but the doors are open so they can go outside whenever they like.
- Ardarl Farm – Galway (pigs) . Their animals live in the open air and are free to roam and forage in natural, clean and comfortable surroundings.
- Quarrymount Free Range Meats – Laois / Offaly (pigs & chicken). Animals on this farm are able to graze outdoors most of the year thanks to the free-draining soil, with their feed supplemented in Winter with locally grown GM free wheat and barley.
- Rigney’s Farm – Limerick (pigs & cow – rare breeds). The farm animals are allowed to roam free on pasture and fed on a diet developed with an animal nutritionist, with the main ingredients being wheat, barley, sunflower seeds and probiotic yoghurt.
- The Wooded Pig – Meath (charcuterie). Their rare breed pigs live in a woodland area on a mixed farm with tillage, native woodland and livestock. They also feed the pigs with barley on the farm.
- Castlemine Farm – Roscommon (cows, sheep, pigs) The animals are allowed to grow and mature slowly, and are raised in a healthy and respectful way that enables them to experience a good quality of life.
- Magners Farm – Tipperary (pigs)
- Comeragh Mountain Farm – Waterford (chickens, turkeys, geese & ducks). This farmer take a permaculture approach to farming and the animals are described as pasture raised)
- Newbard Farm – Waterford (pigs) These rare breed animals are raised on pastures that aren’t sprayed with herbicides or insecticides.
I’m purposely not listing free-range egg producers here because they’re readily available in your local supermarket and so you won’t have to hunt them down. Also i think for the small bit of extra cost organic is better for the planet and the birds.
- Connolly Organic Eggs – Monaghan
- Butlers Eggs – Carlow
- Duhallow Organic Eggs – Cork
- Aherns Organic Farm – Cork
- Ancient Organics – Cork
- Rock Farm Slane – Meath
- Magners Farm – Tipperary (organic and hens have 10sqm each and are moved onto fresh grass every 3 days)
- Knocknarea Farm – Sligo (not organic hens have 10sqm each and are moved onto fresh grass every day)
- Glenisk – Offaly (milk, cream & yogurt)
- The Little Milk Company – Waterford (cheese)
- The Village Dairy – Carlow (milk & cream)
- Aherns Organic Farm – Cork
- Crawfords – Tipperary (milk, cream, butter & buttermilk)
- Mossfield – Offaly (milk, yogurt and buttermilk)
- The Good Life Goat Farm – Leitrim (goats milk)
- Glenn Bui Farm – Mayo (organic raw milk)
- The Natural Milk Company – Nationwide Milk Cooperative (raw milk and milk kefir)
- Boora Bainne – Offaly (offers milk in reusable bottles)
If you don’t see anyone in your county and would like to support a small dairy producer check out this list of raw milk providers in Ireland. Just so you know raw milk is unpasteurised. You can read more about it on the website I’ve linked to.
We’ve decided to reduce our intake of honey in our house for all these reason but we do buy it occasionally and when we do we buy it from a local beekeeper. To find one in your area check out findyourkeeper.ie
That’s all for now. If you liked this article check our my list of organic fresh fruit & veg producers in Ireland