IN 1996, with the beef industry still reeling from the BSE fallout, Foyle Food Group, based in Omagh, led the industry, in conjunction with Tesco, by setting up an exclusive club of producers with the aim of strengthening the links from farm to fork.
That was 25 years ago, and the four Foyle Producers Clubs are still at the very core of business operations.
Wayne Acheson, Director of Agriculture, explained: “When I first set up the Producers Club it was about showing a commitment of support to our farmers and restoring consumer confidence in the industry.”
However, the Producers’ Club has evolved over the years with the business working closely with its farmers to share knowledge and promote mutual understanding. Using practices and husbandry techniques handed down the generations – such as herd health planning and grassland management – cattle are raised with the aim of producing beef with superior flavour and texture.
The company offers animal nutrition advice to farmers from an independent animal nutritionist with the aim of ensuring cattle are fed a balanced diet to produce quality beef. The Producers’ Club website is a means of feeding back information to farmers, in the form of weights and grades of cattle slaughtered, enabling performance to be compared and informed decision-making to be made.
To recognise this milestone Foyle Food Group is holding a charity barbecue at Glen Park Estate in Gortin on Friday, September 3, with all proceeds from the event going to Air Ambulance Northern Ireland. On average Air Ambulance NI is called out to one farming incident every week with farming and agriculture accounting for 10 per cent of all Air Ambulance calls.
The event will kick off with a steak barbecue and a complimentary drink in the newly refurbished Glen Park Estate Courtyard, followed by live music from Richie Remo and a raffle with great prizes up for grabs. Air Ambulance requires £2 million a year in order to provide its vital services to all of Northern Ireland, so why not come along and support a great cause.
Tickets available by calling Foyle Food Group, Omagh, on 028 8224 3201.