background image
APRIL 2018
APRIL 2018
The recent weather diffi culties brought the
value of our stable foods, and the farmers
who produce these essential necessities,
into focus, writes
Matt O'Keeff e
Social media was awash with pictures of empty bread
shelves and milk refrigerators, as consumers scrambled to
stock up on the simple, wholesome, essential food items to
tide them over during the "Beast from the East" and Storm
Emma. These two food items are taken for granted in normal
circumstances, and are very often undervalued, discounted
and used as a means of attracting shoppers into stores to
make a profi t by selling consumers their other wares.
Food is the first priority
For newly elected Fresh Milk Producers (FMP) chairman, Jim
Mulhall, it was refreshing to see his product fully appreciated in
the run-up to the snowstorm. Jim milks 150 pedigree Friesian
cows in Danville, on the outskirts of Kilkenny City.
"Preparing for the storm back in early March, we saw how
people reordered their priorities. When a disaster looms people
prioritise the basics, including food and shelter. Everything
else is in second place. Even in a modern society with mass
communication and modern transport infrastructure, food is
still the fi rst priority where there is any possibility of even a
temporary shortage.
"As a food producer, I found it encouraging that food, and food
production and availability, were the top priorities on most
people's minds. There have been times when milk was price
discounted on supermarket shelves to entice consumers in to
purchase other goods. All of a sudden, because of a possible