Our farming, food and rural regeneration activities

For simplicity our activities have been placed in four categories; farming, local food processing, route-to-market development and international links. Several of the projects listed have seen on-going development for period of time and the first of these are at a point where they will need external funding to move them forwards. Others are still very much at the formative stage. The list is comprehensive because much work is needed to re-establish more direct links between the farmer, rural-based local processing and the willing-to-pay-a-premium, quality-foods consumer.

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Improving farm incomes is our core aim. This may be by adding value on farm by using farming systems that create products that consumers see as premium. It may be by supplying a high-value, equitable supply chain. Or it may just be by better farming.

A policy to centralize processing has left few farm-derived raw materials for processing by local people; thus removing a source of employment. lf the aim is to sell premium foods, local and 'artisan' is needed and not industrial-scale factory processing.

The widening gap between farmers and consumers is of great concern. If rural Ireland's communities are to survive value-added foods needs to be created locally and new routes to market have to be found to connect with the issues-aware consumer.

For several understandable reasons Ireland has continued to focus upon commodities. Their prices are now insufficient to sustain farm income. It is now about premium products with a unique and traceable identity and a story to tell to the consumer.

© 2019 Regenerative Farming Ireland

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