(L - R) Peter Duggan (Bord Bia), Matthew O'Gorman (Manor Farm), Charles Smith (Farmers to Market), Tony McGuigan and Darina Brennan (Dalata Group)
Irish free-range chicken producers ‘Farmers to Market’ have announced details of a new foodservice business listing with Dalata, Ireland’s largest hotel operator which features hotels such as The Maldron and Clayton Hotel groups in its portfolio.
The trade deal, which originated at Bord Bia’s Trade Breakfast at Bloom in June 2019, sees Farmers to Market Free-Range Chicken Burgers listed on bar menus in 35 Maldron and Clayton hotels on the island of Ireland.
Farmers to Market were the first farmers in Ireland to receive a licence from the Department of Agriculture to produce free range chicken in 1991 and at the same time formed a processing partnership with Ireland’s leading poultry producer Manor Farm.
Speaking about the business deal, co-founder Charles Smith said, “We are delighted to announce our listing with the Dalata Group’s Clayton & Maldron Hotels as it signals continued support of quality Irish produce, and is a positive marker for the future of our farm.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our free-range offering to guests travelling from many locations and acknowledges a continued consumer interest in higher-welfare food options.”
Farmers to Market was first founded by brothers Charles and John Smith in 1991, and has since become a family-run business that is passionate about providing premium free-range chickens to market. Attention to detail and a high level of avian welfare are key to operations at their Cavan farm, which was the first Irish farm to be granted a free-range license by the Department of Agriculture in 1991.
The tradition of poultry farming was handed down to the brothers from their own mother, Bernie Smith, and it builds upon a strong farming heritage within the Smith family and the community in Co. Cavan. Farmers to Market demonstrates a passion for the environment, respect for livestock and a commitment to providing quality food sustainably. Farmers to Market chickens are processed by Manor Farm and distributed by Galway-based Heaney Meats.
Tony McGuigan, Head of Procurement, Dalata Group said of the new deal, “At Dalata, we have the largest hotel portfolio within the Republic of Ireland and customer needs are at the heart of our business model. Providing consistently excellent food choices at all of our hotels is a top priority for us, and as such we were delighted to sign a deal with Farmers to Market.
“Their free-range chicken burgers will be available in more than 30 of our hotels throughout Ireland and we are confident that the strong provenance and quality of the product will really resonate with our guests from Ireland and overseas.”
Matthew O’Gorman, Manor Farm praised Farmers to Market for their attention to detail and high standards.
He said, “We have been the processing partner for Farmers to Market since their establishment in 1991; and their Bord Bia quality assured free-range chickens are of utmost importance to us.
“Knowing that our supply chain has been independently checked and verified is crucial to maintaining Manor Farm’s reputation as a market leader. We are delighted to confirm that chickens we process in partnership with Farmers to Market will be available in more than 30 Dalata Group hotels across the country – It is a great sense of pride to see an ongoing customer interest in supporting Irish food producers.”