Kerry sheep farmers toast marketing coup
TIRED of taking poor prices and a round trip of 600km to get lambs slaughtered, Denis Carroll explained to the Grassland group how he and fellow south Kerry sheep farmers have founded the Ring Of Kerry Quality Lamb brand.
From the smallest of beginnings, this has grown to the point where it is now selling 2,000 lambs a year. This steep learning curve has transformed hill sheep farmers into skilled marketers.
There has been massive voluntary effort and a tapping of every source of finance plus an extraordinary amount of free publicity. "Every time we hit national or local media, our sales got a bounce," said Denis Carroll.
Initially, the lamb was sold to freezers and domestic users but, now that the brand is becoming established, restaurants and hotels are buying the product.
Their mission statement says that the farmer will receive no less than €5/kg. Every lamb will be quality guaranteed and fully traceable. Lambs not meeting the specification are returned to the producer's own deep freeze.