Ear to the Ground reports on the US beef market

This week on Ear to the Ground Darragh McCullough is in New York to find out what the recent re-opening of the US beef market means for Irish exporters.

The US market closed to European exports of beef over 15 years ago after the US imposed a ban for BSE reasons.

Now, Ireland is the first EU Member State to have gained entry into the market.

Beef prices in the US are 24% higher than in Ireland and with the dollar strong at the moment coupled with a lack of supply the US market is attractive for Irish exporters.

There has been a recent growing demand for more grass fed, natural beef as opposed to beef produced at industrial scale feedlots where cattle are pumped with hormones.

With only an estimated 10% of the beef market grassfed Darragh asks ‘is there an opening for Irish beef?’

The programme also looks at Harry’s Restaurant in Bridgend, Co. Donegal which has become a destination for ‘foodies’ from both Ireland and the UK.

The restaurant works with local farmers and fishermen from the Inishowen peninsula to source local food.

For local farmer John Hamilton, selling into Harry’s Restaurant gives him a chance to produce his own free range pigs and cattle.

The restaurant also sources gurnard and haddock from fishermen in Greencastle, creating a sustainable local market, as Ella McSweeney finds out.

Other local producers are also benefiting from the restaurant; Kemal Scarpello operates a craft bakery which supplies to the restaurant.

Due to the restaurants success, other food businesses have been established in the area as Ear to the Ground finds out.

Helen Carroll meets Sean Carroll who has worked as a farm labourer all of his life.

They look back to a time when Farm Labourers were central to farming life but now are a thing of the past.

Ear to the Ground visits the first ever farm Sean worked on in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Ear to the Ground airs Tuesday night at 8.30pm.

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