Irish grain must be marketed in a more 'aggressive' fashion
Irish home-grown grain must be marketed in a more “aggressive” fashion than in the past with the tillage sector facing major difficulties, it has been warned.
Teagasc Director Professor Gerry Boyle said the country’s dedicated cereal and tillage producers have remained resilient in the face of a fall-off in income in recent years.
Prof Boyle told the Teagasc National Tillage Conference he was “very conscious of the need to add value to Irish grain and make it a premium product” that would secure a higher price.
There is a case for “marketing quality Irish grain in a much more aggressive way than it has been in the past,” he added.
With the country’s buoyant distilling industry, he told hundreds of farmers gathered in Kilkenny that there must be an opportunity for targeting Irish barley at the distilling sector.
Prof Boyle said they were also looking at the value of Irish oats and barley in “higher value premium” baked products to respond to the rapidly changing market with an increasing emphasis on healthy and nutritional foods.
Teagasc researcher Eimear Gallagher said Irish cereals have not been marketed well so far for inclusion in bakery products. She highlighted how research has shown how new healthy cereal-based ingredients and food products may be developed using Irish-grown oats and barley
Prof Boyle also pointed out the growing consumer interest in products free from genetically-modified crops that could also create an opportunity for Irish cereal growers.