Did you know that the Irish vegetable industry grows over €73 million worth of crops here in Ireland annually? With vegetable farmers located all over the country, mainly in county’s Meath, Wexford, Dublin and Cork, we’re in a fortunate position to have lots of great produce right on our doorstep. With so many vegetable farmers around the country it’s no surprise that the vegetable industry is constantly changing and continues to stay competitive.
We always aim to source ingredients from local Irish producers and our team of chefs use only the freshest, seasonal produce in each and every dish they create here at Suesey Street. With Teagasc research showing that there are over 200 vegetable growers to choose from, and over 540 dedicated potato growers across the country, the Irish vegetable sector certainly has plenty of choice.
Vegetables – It’s what we do
Vegetables were not cultivated here in Ireland until around the 8th century but since then they have become a staple in our everyday diet. Our temperate climate and unique location allows us to grow a wide variety of crops and a number of varieties within each species. Some of our key vegetables are broccoli, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, swedes and scallions, along with cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce. Depending on what’s in season, you’ll see each of these appearing on our menus throughout the year.
According to the Irish food board, Bord Bia, the Irish field vegetable sector was valued at €68m in 2017; the indoor salad and vegetable sector was estimated at around €28 million in that same year. Another important crop here in Ireland is the potato; commercial growers produce our favourite vegetable across 9,122 hectares of land countrywide. The Rooster variety is the most popular, making up 61pc of all potatoes grown in the country.
Research carried out by Bord Bia shows that the potato markets retail value in Ireland is worth €195m with the potato sector being one of the oldest and most valuable markets in the Irish economy. It’s clear that Irish produce is profitable as well as delicious.
Traceability – Farm to Fork
With the population becoming increasingly conscious of their personal health and well-being, along with a fresh interest in where their food is coming from, it’s important that farmers ensure their produce is easily traceable.
Growers here in Ireland must implement a system of traceablity to adhere to food safety regulations. Over the past number of years, consumers and restaurateurs alike have begun taking an interest in where their food is coming from and just how traceable it is. Vegetable growers are now required to register with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) before they start producing and selling fresh produce to consumers. This registration ensures that all vegetables are completely traceable, are meeting high quality checks, and are safe for consumption.
Irish produce is essential to ensuring that all of our dishes here at Suesey Street maintain our high standard of quality. We pride ourselves on supporting local Irish crop producers when sourcing our vegetables, as we do when supporting local providers of all of our other ingredients, including fruits, fish, beef, cheese and dairy and wild Irish game. If you would like to know more about where we source our vegetables please click here.
If you’d like to sample some of the best local, seasonal produce we have to offer, we recommend joining us for dinner or lunch and trying something from our new summer menu.