But it's true to say that there is a lot of
family business in Cill na Martra outside Macroom on the edge of West Cork. Being one of the herd of dairy farmers is just hardship especially since milk quotas were lifted and the market has gone into free-for-all free fall. It didn't help when the Chinese limited the import of powered milk either. But there are models for adding value to your primary product and cutting out some of the middle-man. Keogh's potato chips is one example. Nobó trendy ice-cream is another. Johnny Lynch [L with his buffaloes] was a dairy farmer milking cows until 2009, when he saw the writing on the wall for regular milk and went to Italy to buy some buffalo heifers. That was a huge plunge but the gamble has so far paid off. It didn't help when Johnny got cancer either, but that is in remission.
The heifers had calves and now there are 250 buffalo on the family farm, 80 of them being milked each day to produce 200 kg of fresh mozzarella, that will rise to 250 kg a day as the Summer flush of grass starts to drive up productivity. The milk is sent 30m away to another shed on the steading where Sean Ferry, cheese-maker extraordinary, works his magic on the raw milk. By coincidence, Dau.II went to the English Market before Easter and brought us a round of Macroom Mozz. It was Just Perfick. It rushed me back 25 years to Milos and it wasn't even sunny!
Chekkitout: artisanal mozzarella processing in Italia.