Kilkenny farmer carving out a new business in organic chicken rearing
SEAN Ring farms just outside of Castlecomer in Co Kilkenny, where for the past five years he has been producing free-range chickens.
He converted to organic farming in February of this year and while it is still early days, he has no regrets.
With a background in marketing and farming, he feels now is the time to make the move to organics.
“In the bigger scheme of chicken production, I am a small producer so I need to ensure high returns. I have only been in this business for five years but I see the potential and know that I can sell 1,000 organic table birds a week.
“Organic chickens have to be free range, and Angela Clarke, the certification manager in IOFGA, outlined what additional steps I had to do to convert to organic. Based on that and my market research, I decided to go for it. The confidence is there in the market, consumers want organic chicken and are willing to pay a decent price which makes my business sustainable,” said Sean.
He currently supplies a variety of markets, including restaurants such as Chapter One, Ashford Castle, artisan butchers such as Ennis Butchers, Grogan and Brown, and speciality retailers such as Ardkeen Quality Food Store, Avoca and Pettitt’s SuperValu stores to name a few.
Many of the current outlets have expressed an interest in organic chickens and this has prompted his conversion to organic.
“I will be honest, initially I was a bit sceptical but now that I am a few months into it, I am beginning to see the results.