Cork cereal grower onto a winner by selling surplus produce to fellow organic farmers
Brian O' Regan farms in Dunderrow just outside of Kinsale. A tillage and poultry farmer, he converted the tillage operation to organic production back in 2008.
Last year, he grew approximately 90 acres of organic cereals, comprising of 48ac of oats, 22ac of beans, and 20ac of rye, a crop not widely grown organically in Ireland.
Brian enjoys the challenge of growing cereals organically and at one stage expanded to 300ac, selling mainly oats to Flahavan's.
"I sold surplus cereals to other organic farmers for livestock feed and I realised that there could actually be a business opportunity in this," says Brian.
"The vast majority of compound organic animal feed being sold in Ireland is being imported from Europe via one main feed mill in the UK, so why not try to provide an Irish grown, Irish produced animal feed to displace the imports?
"Slowly the idea gained momentum - I spoke to Gillian Westbrook in IOFGA, who put me in touch with Peter Morrin, who has a wealth of experience in organic feed production.
"Slowly over the last few years things have evolved to the point where we are now ready to launch Irish Organic Feeds as an independent business."
Having conducted market research on the current requirements for animal feed, Brian estimates it to be in the region of 9,000t (this does not include poultry feed).