Show the love for our local food producers
FARMER’S daughter Diane Masterson is asking consumers to show some love for local Irish agri-food produce this Valentine’s Day, while also giving back to charity.
Diane grew up on a dairy farm near Enniscorthy in Co Wexford and is now living in Dublin, where she works in finance. In recent times, she began to notice that small producers were closing down in Ireland and feels that Irish consumers were missing the connection between food and farming.
“Over the last few years, I realised that more and more locally owned greengrocers and butchers were shutting their doors, and these are the stores that traditionally stock produce made by on-farm food businesses,” says Diane.
Having always had an appreciation for the work that Irish farmers do, Diane recently set up the Irish Food Family campaign to promote local products.
Unsure what the campaign’s first activity would be, she got chatting to dairy farmer Peter Hynes who suggested she use the campaign as a way for people to donate to the Thomas Hayes Trust (Teac Tom).
“I really wanted to get started on the campaign and I thought this would be a brilliant way to do it, while raising much-needed funds for Teac Tom’s Rearing to Go campaign.”
Diane decided to get in touch with local pro- ducers and fill the hampers with their produce, which could then be purchased by consumers for €50 with all proceeds going towards the Rearing to Go campaign.
Mooncoin beetroot relish, Ballymakenny potatoes, The Apple Farm apple juice, The Little Mill brown bread and Truly Irish oat granola are just some of the long list of products included in the hamper.
“I’ve been blown away by the response. So many producers have gotten on board. It’s a great idea for a Valentine’s gift, too because at the end of the day, who wants flowers, anyway?”
Teac Tom was set up by Angela Hayes in remembrance of her son who died by suicide in 2010. The charity provides support to individuals and families affected by suicide or contemplating suicide.
Diane says she is glad the funds will be going to such a worthy cause and is part of the Rearing to Go fundraising campaign under way for the charity.
“Teac Tom doesn’t get any state funding and they save people’s lives. One woman messaged me saying she bought a hamper as her own son had died by suicide. It broke my heart,” says Diane.
If you are interested in purchasing a hamper email irishfoodfam[email protected]
For more information on Teac Tom contact 056-7796592.
Andrew, Andrea and Emily Dean and Liam and Micheal O’Driscoll enjoy the annual ploughing match in Kilbrittain, Co Cork.