We speak to local producers, all passionate about their work, who offer a behind- the-scenes look into the food at your local Tesco store. Their pride in making quality Irish products is obvious, as we hear about early starts, vegetables as part of the family (kind of!) and the love and care ploughed into the farms. Working with Tesco is a vital part of the process – together they ensure the food that ends up in your basket is the best it can be. It’s time to go on a food journey.
Robert Donaghy is a beef farmer and the third generation to look after the Donaghy farm in Barnasaghy, Co. Sligo. He’s been supplying Tesco with fresh beef since 1999.
‘My jobs on the farm change with the seasons,’ says Robert. ‘In spring it’s all about calving, while in summer I ensure the grass is in good shape to collect for the winter feed.
‘My work is about keeping the animals as healthy as possible so they can thrive. This includes providing a quality natural diet – the vast majority of which is nutrient-rich grass – and seeing that my animals spend most of their time in their natural environment outside. Along with the breeds I rear – a Charolais cross, this all makes for a better quality product.
‘After we’ve supplied the beef, the meat goes through a series of quality tests, including temperature and pH levels, as well as crosschecking we’ve met the criteria set by Tesco. Any changes that are needed will be fed back to me.
‘I love that I’m at work the moment I walk out my front door and take pride in keeping my farm – which is visible from the roadside – tidy.’
‘The animals are well cared for and spend most of their time outside.’
‘I focus on keeping my animals as healthy as possible so they can thrive.’