'Our customers are loyal - they know the quality of our meat' - Kildare beef farmer on selling his own product
Not too many farmers can say they fared well during this past winter, but Peter Byrne of Newtown Farm was content with business.
A regular supplier of his own beef and other fresh products to farmers' markets, he enjoyed a prosperous few months and is now gearing up for a busy summer.
"Surprisingly, we got through the winter very well," he says. "Families were at home and cooking regular meals, which meant more business for us at the weekends."
Peter and his wife Aíne have traded at weekly farmers' markets now for well over a decade. From their home near Castledermot, Co Kildare each Saturday Peter heads down to Carlow, while Aíne travels up the country to Naas.
"It was a business idea that came from my brother-in-law Pat O'Neill who has O'Neills Dry Cured Bacon," he says.
"They started out doing farmers' markets and they now supply to a good few supermarkets.
"I started out selling my own beef to the factory and Pat suggested that I try the markets as well."
"At the time I also had sheep so I got out of those to concentrate only on beef."