Italian connection prompts surge of interest in GM-free maize
INTEREST has been growing from feedlots in GM-free maize following the move by a leading Italian retailer to look for GM and antibiotic-free meat.
Quinns of Baltinglass, one of the three mills approved by the Italian retailer, said there had been a rise in inquiries from feedlots about supplies since Co-op Italia signalled its interest in buying 'green' Irish beef from its suppliers.
"We are offering a blend of native grains and pulses, with beans as the protein, oats for fibre, barley and wheat," said Valerie Hobson of Quinns. "Guys love feeding maize to finishing cattle."
However, she warned it was harder to get GM-free maize, as the produce grown outside Europe was mainly off GM seeds.
Ms Hobson said they cannot guarantee maize from the Ukraine or Poland. "There is a small premium on the mixes charged - somewhere around €15-20/t above the usual price.
"However, the maize can be a bit more difficult with a €20-30/t premium."
Martin Garvey of Grennans said interest in GM-free maize has increased off a low base in the past few weeks, driven by the Co-op Italia announcement.
He said there would be more opportunities for Irish grain growers to produce more grains and beans for protein requirements in their mixes.