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Steven Ryan - Snail Farmer

Steven from Co Galway is a beef, sheep and snail farmer. Having returned to the farm with his young family Steven was keen to make the farm a viable fulltime option. After much research on the options available Steven stumbled upon snail farming.

Main Motivations

  • Make the farm a viable full-time option
  • Have a quality work-life balance
  • Live in the countryside and work outdoors

Success factors

  • Low land requirement, so the snail enterprise did not detract from the existing enterprises
  • Irelands climate is ideally suited to outdoor snail farming
  • Ability to fit the busy periods in snail farming around the busy periods in the beef and sheep enterprises.


  • Access to information; Steven gained his knowledge of snail farming through the internet, following the process used in warmer countries. Steven subsequently invested in equipment similar to that used in Mediterranean countries which was an unnecessary expense.
  • Access to markets; the main markets and all processing facilities are located in southern Europe, leading to significant transport costs.
  • Access to finance; Development of processing facilities in Ireland will require significant investment. It has taken years of networking and enquiries to identify suitable investors.