Northern Irish buffalo farm signs export deal

Northern Ireland’s only producer of buffalo meat has signed its first export opportunity. 

Ballyriff Farm, based in Co Derry, will now supply its produce to chefs in the Republic of Ireland.

Chef at St Kyrans Country House Restaurant in Co Cavan, Eddie Attwell, is using the buffalo meat on his menus in a highly-rated venue in the Republic. Attwell has previously featured the buffalo meat at a major event in Britain.

Previously a chef at L’Enclume in the Lake District and a two-time Roux scholarship finalist, Attwell first introduced Ballyriff buffalo whilst in a position at Ardtara House in Co Derry.

“This is an important development for us because it showcases the quality and taste of our meat in a new market for us with a chef we know very well,” said Ballyriff’s Barry O’Brien. “He clearly rates our meat as being deliciously different. We’ve had quite a bit of interest in both parts of Ireland in our steaks and other cuts.”

The NI farm raises around 60 water buffalo on pastures near Lough Neagh, with plans on expanding the business by developing its own mozzarella cheese in 2017. The family decided to import the buffalo from Italy as part of a farm diversification project to help increase the sustainability of the small holding.

O’Brien’s son, also named Barry, is a butcher by trade and produces burgers, sausages, silverside roasts and steaks. The buffalo reportedly contains half the fat of ordinary meat, and contains twice as much protein and calcium.

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