The Best Overall Organic Product at the recent National Organic Awards 2012 was awarded to Crowe’s Farm for its Organic Dry Cure Back Rasher product which was chosen for its high quality, superior taste and smart packaging.
Shane McEntee, Minister of State for Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced the winners at an awards ceremony in Bord Bia recently.
Crowe’s farm is a family run farm and business in Dundrum, Co Tipperary. Brothers T.J., Ned, John Paul and Pa all work together to bring the best of outdoor reared, organic pork and bacon products to our table. Their father John, who passed away in 1999, was also a butcher and had a strong business in outdoor reared animals. The demand and increased interest in organic farming gave the younger generation of the Crowe family the idea of expanding and growing the business for the ever demanding organic market.
According to T.J. winning this award was the “icing on the cake stuff. Last year we won Best Meat Product for our Organic Dry Cure Back Rashers so this year the result is brilliant”.
Currently the Crowe’s are busying getting ready for Christmas with their organic Bronze Turkey’s which compliment their hams perfectly. It is their busiest time of year according to T.J. so they “batten down the hatches to keep up with demand”.
They employ 12 people full time and will employ extra people to cover the busy festive season. A number of their butchers are from Lithuania and Brazil. T.J. said having them working at the farm has been an education to him and the team as they have shown him different ways of using cuts that would not usually be sold in Irish butchers. He said that they know the true value of the animal.
Included in the range of meats from Crowe’s are roasts, turkey, bacon, fillet, chops, sausages, pork and ham.
This year was the sixth year of the National Organic Awards, which take place during National Organic Week each year. Organised by Bord Bia, over 100 entries were received and awards were given in eight different categories.
Commenting on the overall winning product, Tara McCarthy, Director Food & Beverage Division, Bord Bia said: “The judges said that the Organic Dry Cure Back Rashers from Crowe’s Farm represent a traditional Irish product taken to a new level. The packaging is smart - full of information about the product and the farming family behind it. It also tastes great with samples devoured by the judges! The rashers were a really high quality - they held their cooking shape and were full of flavour, but not overly salty. They are worthy winners, representing all that is good about Irish organic farming.”
There are currently 1,692 registered organic operators in Ireland with 52,390 hectares of land being used to produce organic foods which include meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables, eggs, grains, cereals, nuts, seeds, dairy products, drinks and cooking oils.