Are you someone who considers buying organic produce? Is the quality and flavour of the food you eat, and feed your family, important to you? Are you concerned about animal welfare and climate change issues? If so this might be of interest.
Drumanilra Organic Beef – Grass Fed, Single Estate Beef from our Family Farm
At Drumanilra Organic Farm we raise Pedigree, Dexter, Organic Beef which has been 95-100% grass fed. All the beef sold each week in our Online Farm Shop comes from one single animal from our farm. That animal lived a long and happy life, grazing along the shores of Lough Key, in the shade of woodlands planted by generations of our family.
Isn’t all Irish beef, grass fed, quality beef, from small farms?
You may be surprised to learn, that over 50% of the beef sold in Ireland, comes from the dairy industry rather than specifically animals that are bred for beef. The percentage increases year by year as the dairy industry expands. Or to hear that €100M of beef was imported to Ireland in 2018, from other countries. What has shocked us to learn, is that In 2018, approximately 20% of Irish beef processed in factories, was from feedlot cattle. A feedlot herd is defined by the Dept of Agriculture as a non-breeding unit where “the cattle are permanently housed (never on pasture)”. Aside from the animal welfare implications of this, many of the feedlots are owned by meat processing factories. There has been much debate in recent times over the ability of Ireland’s smaller, traditional, pasture-based, beef farmers to compete on price. What people often don’t consider is, where was their meat produced, and what kind of life did those animals have?
Drumanilra Beef – Organic Pasture, No Over-Crowding, and Protecting the Land
Organic standards ensure that animals must have “permanent access to open air areas, preferably pasture”. They also regulate stocking densities to protect land, manage emissions, and ensure animal welfare. Our animals spend most of their lives on organic pasture. They over-Winter in roomy sheds with comfortable straw lie-backs, protected from the worst of the Winter weather. In Spring and early Summer, our cows and heifers come inside for a few days to calve, where we can keep an eye on them!
Drumanilra Pedigree Beef – a Longer Life and Fully Traceable
Our Beef is from a pedigree Dexter suckler herd of cows, using a pedigree Dexter beef bull, and is fully traceable. Dexter is a slow grown beef that takes time to mature. We usually slaughter at 24 -36 months. In conventional systems, animals are slaughtered from 16 months following intensive indoor feeding of cereals. We have records of our pedigree registrations, age of animals at slaughter, and details of the dam and sire, which are always available for inspection.
A Fair Price for Farmers, Minimal Road Miles & No Meat Factories
In addition to our own breeding herd, we work with a small group of best-practice, Irish organic farmers, we know personally. We pay the farmers a fair and sustainable price for their premium beef weanlings. The animals make a short road trip to our farm where they stay for up to three years. From here, they take the 40 minute journey to Burns Meats in Co. Sligo. Gerry Burns and his sons, run a small abattoir processing small numbers of animals, in a low stress, uncrowded environment. They are fully inspected by the District Vet and the Organic Trust. They are also skilled butchers, and prepare our beef for sale.
Organic Standards – No GMO Feeds, No Pesticides, No Routine Antibiotics
All feed, throughout the lifetime of our animals, is free from GMOs. No insecticide, pesticides, herbicides (Glycophosphates/Roundup) are used in our system or sprayed on our grass. We do not use routine vaccines, antibiotic treatments, or toxic parasite treatments, as practiced in conventional farming. Animals are only treated when necessary and the withdrawal period is usually three times longer than conventional. We are registered and inspected annually by The Organic Trust, who certify that we are adhering to these regulations.
Healthier and Tastier – Drumanilra Beef is Grass Fed and Hung for 3 Weeks
Our beef diet is 95-100% grass, not concentrates. Concentrates are an imported mix of GMO cereals and legumes, usually treated with pesticides, insecticides fungicides and herbicides. Grass fed beef may contain less total fat and a lot more Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), so that the balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids is more in line with our own dietary needs. Our beef is naturally marbled over time with a yellow fat and will look different to conventional beef which will have forced white fat. You will notice the difference in both taste and texture – it tastes fantastic!!We hang our beef for a minimum of 18 days and usually 24 days. Most beef on sale in supermarkets is hung for just a few days to avoid the expense of chill rooms. Sometimes supermarket suppliers hang select cuts for longer than a few days, but not the everyday cuts. All our cuts are hung for the same length of time.
A Fair Price for Customers
You may have to spend a little more for our beef, to enable our animals to have a better quality of life, and be nurtured on our farm without unnecessary additives and inputs. However, consider the value of this carefully produced product, to you, and the people you share it with. Compared like with like, our prices for most cuts are on par with quality butcher prices. Our mince may seem more expensive, but the mince we produce comes from better cuts, from one single animal (single estate!) and not from waste material. In a factory setting mince can legally contain up to 35% filler (fat and collagens). You only have to look at the color of our mince to see the difference and the taste will speak for itself.
We are really proud of our beef and the way it’s prepared and sincerely hope you enjoy it. Why not give it a try! All our products are available to Click and Collect, or for Courier Delivery, from our Online Farm Shop. Please tell us what you think of our beef and if you enjoy it, please spread the word!!
Liam & Justina Gavin
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