Wednesday 28 September 2016

Former Irish Ribena 'poster boy' back launches new drink Jeffares

Jeffares family have been growing blackcurrants for three generations on Ballykelly Farm

David Tucker

Published 07/04/2015 | 00:00

Des Jeffares with store manager Padraig Doran at the launch of new blackcurrant drink line 'Mr. Jeffares Blackcurrant Cordial' in Pettitts SuperValu St. Aidan's.
Des Jeffares with store manager Padraig Doran at the launch of new blackcurrant drink line 'Mr. Jeffares Blackcurrant Cordial' in Pettitts SuperValu St. Aidan's.

An Irish man who once starred in an advert for international fruit drinks giant Ribena is hoping that his new line of juice will help to revitalise the blackcurrant industry in Ireland.

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The Jeffares family have been growing blackcurrants for three generations on Ballykelly Farm just outside Wexford town. Now celebrating 60 years, and three years after the local industry was almost wiped out, they are launching Mr Jeffares Irish Blackcurrant Cordial.

Three years ago Ribena stopped buying blackcurrants from Irish growers, which almost decimated the blackcurrant industry. At one stage Des Jeffares was the poster boy in Ribena's high profile TV advert filmed on his farm in Wexford.

Mr Jeffares said: "Our new Blackcurrant Juice Cordial is about the survival of a Blackcurrant industry in Wexford, which is very small and tinkering on the line of extinction.

'But I hope that if we can get Mr Jeffares Irish Blackcurrant Cordial selling here in Wexford, we will then grow it nationally and hopefully, eventually globally."

He added: "I am very proud to carry on the Wexford tradition of growing Blackcurrants which has for almost 20 years been unique to this area and I hope that once again our county will become renowned worldwide as the home of Blackcurrants in Ireland."

Ballykelly Farm is run by Mr Jeffares and his wife Margaret who also owns and runs Good Food Ireland from the farm.

Mr Jeffares Blackcurrant Cordial is available in several local Wexord outlets.

For recipes, tips and inspiration visit www.mrjeffaresblackcurrants.ie

Wexford People

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