We are a unique agri-food & tourism business promoting organic food, sustainable farming and processing. We are set to invest €7M and create upwards of 100 jobs in the Northwest region over the next 2-3 years. The project is the brainchild of Liam and Justina Gavin our partners at Drumanilra Organic Farm in Co. Roscommon. Their aim is to create a route to market for local farm produce by investing in food processing facilities, three new organic food venues, and a farm visitor attraction.
Farming 300 organic acres in North Roscommon, the Gavins have a pedigree herd of 200 Dexter cattle and plan to add a herd of Short-Horns to the farm enterprise mix. They produce high-welfare beef, grass-fed lamb, organic eggs, outdoor reared pork, organic vegetables, and leafy greens. They have always sold our produce direct to local customers and visitors to the region.
Organic Processing Facilities
They are now investing in an organic butchery and a packing and processing facility for vegetables and salads. Both facilities will process food from our own Drumanilra Organic Farm and other like-minded producers. “We have developed a network of organic Dexter farmers around the country. They supply us with animals through the year. We are always looking for more farmers and growers to get involved”, says Liam. An organic bakery and microbrewery are also in product development phase. We have a specialist baker and a craft brewer already on the team!
Organic Food Venues & a Boutique Hotel for Boyle!
The processing enterprises will supply three food venues in the region. These will include Ireland’s first drive-thru organic restaurant in Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim, opening this Autumn, a BBQ grill restaurant in Strandhill, Co. Sligo and a boutique hotel in Boyle, Co Roscommon. Subject to planning, the hotel will have 20 bedrooms, a restaurant, microbrewery and teaching kitchen . The restaurants will cater for what the Gavins refer to as “ethical carnivores” as well as vegan and vegetarian diets. Organic farm produce will be available for sale from a farm shop in each location. Farm tours and courses in organic food and sustainable living will be part of the package.
“We’ve pretty much made a career of setting up businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors. However, from our early days working in East Africa, we’ve also always had an interest in social enterprise and rural development.” say the Gavins. “We’ve seen at first-hand how local, small-scale food production and careful tourism development can sustain a community. We’ve also seen how mainstream agriculture with its focus on high inputs and maximum yields can, likewise, be the death knell for small family farms. It can have a devastating impact on the landscape and environment.”
“It’s been a dream of ours to pull all these interests and concerns together into a project of this type. We have a strong family links to the area. We believe that this gorgeous place we live in really is an undiscovered gem with huge potential. There is no better time for a project like this. We are all living through the realities of climate change right now. The COVID pandemic has made so many of us reassess our food and lifestyle choices. We get calls every day from people asking how they can get involved and how can they buy the produce”, says Justina. The challenge now is to find more like-minded people to come on board and help us make it all happen!”
If you have an interest in sustainable food & farming, finding ways to live more gently on the planet, and have experience in farming, commercial gardening, HR, accounting, marketing, restaurant management, or if you are a chef with a passion for cooking with the best local ingredients around, we’d would love to hear from you. You can get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more at www.drumanilra.ie/careers-at-drumanilra