A dozen Irish free-range poultry farmers have secured a €1.3m deal to supply the Irish supermarket chain SuperValu.
Farmers to Market, a producer/marketing group, uses bespoke poultry housing, feeding, ventilation systems and rearing methods to enhance welfare and ensure the quality of their birds, while Manor Farm Chicken processors (Carton Brothers) provides technical assistance and distribution.
“We’ve been able to make some headway in selling ourselves and our own chickens a little bit better, and taking control rather than depend totally on the processor to look out for us in the market,” said group spokesman Charles Smith.
The group produces around 13,000 birds per week, but can increase by up to 20,000 as required. This unique partnership bodes well for the Irish chicken industry, said Martin Kelleher, managing director of SuperValu, which has poultry sales of €65 million a year across its 193 stores nationwide.