As more and more people become more and more detached from agriculture, “the need to communicate with the consumer about where their beef comes from and how it is raised has never been greater. “.
These are the words of Jamie Nolan, who farms in Castledermot, Co. Kildare.
He believes that “there has never been a time in the past when people have been so detached from where their food comes from.”
It was this concept that gave him the idea to develop a new business that aims to connect with the consumer “on a personal level” by delivering beef from his Co. Kildare farm directly to the homes of beef consumers across Ireland.
Nolan currently owns a herd of Highland and Aberdeen Angus cattle under the AgriCam prefix.
He plans to use these purebred cattle to raise offspring that will be raised on the farm to produce beef for the new business to be called ‘AgriCam Beef Boxes’.
Nolan’s family are also dairy farmers in County Kildare and this year at the farm replacement heifers were calved to a highland bull. These calves will be bred into adult cattle and finished on the farm to produce Highland beef under the new venture.
“We put a Highland bull with our dairy heifer herd this year and plan to raise the beef offspring,” he noted.
Why Highland Beef?
Nolan said he selected the Angus and Highland breeds because of their “superior beef quality”.
“Highland and Angus beef have a high marbling content and both breeds produce beautifully tender meat,” he said.
“The cattle will all be grass fed and raised at home and the beef cans will be available in either 10kg or 20kg cans. The cans are good value and it’s great tender meat added the Kildare entrepreneur.
The meat will be prepared by a local artisanal butcher and can be delivered throughout the country.
Sustainable packaging made from sheep’s wool will also be used to keep beef at the optimum temperature long after it has been delivered to the consumer.
“We can deliver nationwide and are fully licensed. We use a local artisan butcher to prepare the meat,” added Nolan.
“The business will be local and we hope the local community will join us as well as people from further afield, as the need to support local farmers and the primary producer has never been greater.”
Nolan believes the idea is gaining traction in other countries like Scotland and England where, he says, “consumers are moving more towards supporting local produce and the primary producer”.
He said his website will be up and running in the near future for people to buy the beef and there will be national next day delivery.
He noted that a number of other farmers across the country are now setting up online businesses to sell their agricultural products directly to the consumer and believes “there is a great future” in the sector.