Offaly farmer and food producer reaches final of prestigious competition

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Anne Marie pictured with her brothers Alan and William and father Billy on the family farm in Co. Offaly.

Anne Marie pictured with her brothers Alan and William and father Billy on the family farm in Co. Offaly.

An Offaly farmer and food producer who spotted a gap in the market was a finalist in the 2020 NEWBIE New Entrant Competition run by Teagasc.

The competition is for Ireland’s best new entrant farmer and is for people who have recently taken up farming or have diversified their farming business.

While sourcing beetroot juice for her father Anne Marie Feighery, from Feighery’s Farm in Kilcormac, noticed a gap in the market for an Irish produced beetroot juice and set about developing her own Beetroot Juice.

Working closely with her father and two brothers who had previously grown beetroot for sale at local markets Anne Marie was able to focus on coordinating the product development, production and marketing of the product.

Collaboration is a key element of Anne Marie’s business and success. Collaborating with an existing juice producer to bottle her juice has enabled Anne Marie to reduce the costs of setting up the business. Likewise working with her father and brothers has given her access to raw material, while providing an additional income stream for both.

Anne Marie credits access to independent retailers and SuperValu alongside independent health food shops for the success in sales, but is keen to point out the work involved in developing and maintaining markets as a new entrant.

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Anne Marie has successfully overcome common barriers faced by new entrants namely; access to land through the collaboration with family, access to markets by working with health food chains and retailers and access to finance by outsourcing production reducing initial investment.

The NEWBIE Network is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project with 10 European partners. Newbie offers a unique platform by bringing together new entrants, successors, advisors, researchers, important regional and national actors and relevant stakeholders in national networks, with the aim of enabling new entrants to successfully establish a sustainable farm business in Europe.

To join the Newbie network and keep up to date with all the latest news, register at; http://www.newbie-academy.eu/ membership/