TResearch Autumn 2018
The Future of Food
The Future of Food
Have you enough fodder in store?
Christmas trees, once regarded as by-products of the forestry industry have been produced as a highly specialised crop since the early 1980`s. Good returns in terms of both capital and time are possible. However, such returns can only be achieved through specialised knowledge, high standards of production, access to suitable markets and commitment from the producer.
Llamas are woolly, gentle animals that come from south America and are sometimes described as ‘unusual’ or ‘exotic’ pets. Llamas like Alpacas are types of ‘camelids’.
Strawberries are the most attractive fruit crop with low capital investment and quick cropping. The crop is grown for fresh market and production for processing in this country has now ceased.
Ireland has the capacity to generate electricity at the greatest volumes and lowest prices in Europe with major environmental benefit and export potential. This is because of ideal wind speeds,. At present only 2% of our electricity is generated from wind.
Every Region in Ireland can offer a quality angling product, whether it be sea angling, coarse angling or game angling. The main attractions of Ireland as an angling destination are its’ relatively clean waters (estimated 14,000 km of rivers and 5,600 km of coastline) supporting an excellent quality and quantity of fish, and a welcoming and uncrowded atmosphere. Further development and maintenance of these fisheries in a pollution free environment will undoubtedly attract far more anglers to our shores thereby creating further enterprise opportunities. Angling attracted 93,000 visitors to Ireland in 2004. The majority of these anglers utilise self catering or B & B accommodation close to their preferred angling location. Opportunities to service the angling market exist in a wide range of areas such as accommodation, boat and equipment hire, boatman services, providing bait etc.
Childminding is small-scale, home-based childcare. It is the largest childcare subsector in Ireland, accounting for 80 per cent of childcare places for infants, preschool and school-going children.
Turfgrass sod production is a relatively new enterprise in Ireland with the oldest companies in the field being no more than 17 years in business. There are up to 10 - 12 producers at present with a total area of approximately 200 hectares. It is not a labour intensive business and the production of the sods can quiet easily be operated as a two person operation. If a sod laying service is also provided the labour requirement rises rapidly. The distribution and marketing of the sod are the critical factors in the success of a turfgrass sod enterprise.
Organic poultry production in Ireland forms only a small part of organic farming. Producers are few. Poultry sales are low, due possibly to the limited supply. Organic poultry production is significantly more expensive than the corresponding commercial products. Organic Feed, which is the main input is 80% dearer than feed for conventional production. Growing cycles are longer; birds are afforded natural conditions such as grass paddocks, straw bedding and perches. Organic products must command a premium price over commercial products for production viability.
Ash timber is strong and flexible with a good capacity for shock absorbency. For this reason ash has been traditionally used in Ireland for the production of hurleys. Irish ash is said to be the best ash for hurley making due to the mild damp climate. There have been experiments with the timber of other trees but nothing has proven to be as good as ash.
Farmers’ markets give local growers and producers the opportunity to sell their own produce directly to consumers, i.e. “local fresh high quality produce for local people”. All products should have been grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked, smoked or processed by the stallholder. The markets are an ideal opportunity for farmers to source new customers and customers to source new suppliers. Local producers rent an area or stall. Selling directly to the consumer gives greater control over pricing; there are no intermediaries, so there is potential for a larger return per unit. The markets host a range of locally grown produce and crafts and can facilitate the creation of a culture of enterprise within an area, county or region. They can also have positive spin-off effects for local businesses. Some of the types of produce sold include organic vegetables, gourmet breads, herbs, sausages, Italian products (e.g. pastas, sundried tomatoes and olives), ethnic foods, cheeses, gourmet quiches, cakes, arts and crafts.