the Hydroponic System

Sustainable Eats: Revolutionizing Food With the Hydroponic System

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Updated on March 20, 2024

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Remarkably, the hydroponic system — a method of growing plants without soil — can increase yields by up to 50% and grow plants 30% faster than traditional farming. It’s a fascinating stat that highlights the potential of this innovative method.

Brandon Allen’s Customized Farm, a pioneer in this field, serves as a beacon, leading the way towards a future of sustainable food production. But how does he do it? What are the challenges and how does this technology fit into our existing food infrastructure?

These questions open up a rich terrain for exploration.

Brandon Allen’s Sustainable Journey

httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNPQhMP94iY

From traditional farming to marine science, and ultimately to the founding of Customized Farm, Brandon Allen’s journey represents a relentless pursuit of sustainability and innovation in the food industry. His entrepreneurial evolution is marked by an unwavering commitment to mitigating environmental impacts and enhancing food production efficiency.

Allen’s transition from marine sciences to food entrepreneurship underlines his adaptability and foresight in grasping emerging trends and opportunities. His establishment of Food 360, a distribution solution for small SMEs, and the development of the Food Innovation Park, a hub focused on sustainable food production and carbon footprint reduction, reflect his innovative approach.

Allen’s journey, punctuated by strategic decisions, embodies an inspiring combination of entrepreneurial agility, environmental consciousness, and industry innovation.

Challenges in Traditional Farming

the Hydroponic System

While Allen’s journey highlights the potential of innovative, sustainable practices in agriculture, it’s important to acknowledge the myriad challenges inherent in traditional farming methods. Traditional farming often struggles to balance productivity with environmental stewardship, grappling with issues such as soil degradation, water pollution, and high energy consumption.

These farming challenges can hinder the transition to sustainable agriculture, as old habits die hard and new techniques require both investment and education. Additionally, the unpredictable nature of weather conditions and market prices pose significant risks for farmers. These systemic, complex challenges demand innovative, holistic solutions.

Embracing sustainable agriculture, though fraught with difficulties, isn’t just an option but a necessity for our planet’s future.

Innovative Food Distribution Solutions

the Hydroponic System

Tackling the obstacles in traditional farming, Brandon Allen turned his attention towards innovative food distribution solutions, setting the stage for a new era of sustainable practices in the industry.

He utilized vertical farming and urban agriculture, strategies that optimize space and resources. Vertical farming, in particular, allows for the growth of more crops per square foot than traditional farming, revolutionizing the way our food system works.

Urban agriculture, on the other hand, brings food production closer to consumption, reducing transportation costs and associated carbon emissions. Allen’s approach not only provides fresh, local produce to urban dwellers but also offers a scalable solution to some of the most pressing issues in food distribution, heralding a sustainable future for the industry.

The Food Innovation Park Project

the Hydroponic System

Building on the success of his innovative food distribution solutions, Allen launched the Food Innovation Park Project, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at revolutionizing sustainable food production. This venture utilizes green technology to enhance sustainable agriculture, aiming to have a transformative economic impact on the local community.

The project’s approach, which prioritizes community engagement, has the potential to redefine how communities interact with food production. By creating a space where innovation in agriculture isn’t just encouraged but is integral, Allen’s project is setting a new standard for sustainable food systems.

The Food Innovation Park Project is thus not only an example of innovative thinking in agriculture but also a testament to the power of community collaboration in driving sustainable change.

Renewable Energy in Agriculture

the Hydroponic System

Drawing on his passion for sustainability, Allen has set his sights on integrating renewable energy into agriculture, a move that promises to further revolutionize the industry. By leveraging renewable energy efficiency, he envisions farms that run on solar, wind, and bioenergy, drastically reducing carbon emissions and dependency on fossil fuels.

This progressive approach also aligns with market expansion strategies, as an increasing number of consumers demand eco-friendly products. The integration of renewable energy in agriculture not only addresses environmental concerns but also presents economic opportunities. The move could stimulate job growth, foster innovation, and attract investments.

As Allen continues to pioneer this shift, the agriculture industry is poised to witness a new era of sustainability and growth.

Responding to Consumer Demands

the Hydroponic System

In a market increasingly driven by sustainability-conscious consumers, Allen’s ventures are strategically aligned to meet this growing demand. His approach, rooted in sustainable agriculture and consumer education, sees consumer preferences and market trends not as challenges, but opportunities.

Allen is deftly responding to the shift towards environmentally friendly choices, offering solutions that not only meet these demands but also promote them. His work in hydroponics is reflective of this, a revolutionary approach to food production that caters to the market’s appetite for sustainability.

Through his ventures, he’s not just meeting the market’s demand, he’s shaping it. By educating consumers about the benefits of sustainable agriculture, Allen is creating an informed market base that increasingly demands what he offers.

Sustainable Practices and Policies

Allen’s sustainability-focused business practices are complemented by policies that promote responsible farming and fair trade. Government policies play a crucial role in supporting these initiatives by providing incentives for sustainable practices.

However, Allen’s efforts don’t stop there. He’s also an advocate for sustainability education, believing that awareness and understanding are key to driving change. He collaborates with educational institutions, offering workshops and seminars to educate the next generation about the importance of sustainability in agriculture.

Furthermore, he ensures that his own practices, from hydroponic farming to fair trade partnerships, align with these policies and educational efforts. This harmonious blend of practice and policy, underpinned by education, marks a significant step toward a more sustainable future in food production.

Overcoming Industry Challenges

Navigating the food industry’s complex landscape, Brandon Allen has confronted numerous challenges head-on, from resistance by large companies to the difficulties of introducing technology into traditional farming practices. To overcome these, he’s cultivated an innovation mindset, seeking sustainable solutions and championing industry resilience.

His sustainability strategies have centered on adopting hydroponics, a game-changing practice that eliminates the need for soil, thus addressing land scarcity. Allen’s approach hasn’t only made farming more efficient but also has laid the groundwork for a more sustainable food industry.

Despite hurdles, his determination illustrates the kind of resilience needed to revolutionize the food industry. His journey suggests that innovation, coupled with sustainability strategies, can indeed overcome industry challenges.

The Role of Technology in Food

the Hydroponic System

Harnessing the power of technology, the food industry is experiencing a profound transformation, with pioneers like Brandon Allen leading the charge towards more sustainable and efficient farming practices. Tech advancements are playing a pivotal role in optimizing food production, by enhancing crop yields, reducing wastage, and promoting sustainable farming methods.

The integration of digital solutions isn’t only streamlining operations but also bolstering sustainability efforts. Innovative applications like hydroponics are revolutionizing the way food is grown, requiring less water and land compared to traditional farming. Furthermore, data-driven insights are enabling precision agriculture, leading to more effective resource utilization.

As technology continues to evolve, it holds the promise of further shaping the landscape of food sustainability and security.

Supporting Local Artisan Producers

In the rapidly evolving food industry, local artisan producers are emerging as crucial players, offering unique, high-quality products and advocating sustainable practices. Through community collaboration and farmer markets, they’re not only boosting local economies but also creating a culture of sustainability.

However, their success is largely dependent on consumer education. Sustainability initiatives serve as informative platforms to educate consumers about the benefits of supporting local producers – from promoting fresh, organic produce to reducing carbon footprints. Furthermore, they highlight the role of hydroponics in revolutionizing food production, emphasizing its efficiency and eco-friendliness.

As consumers become more knowledgeable, their choices lean towards sustainability, further supporting local artisan producers in their pursuit of revolutionizing the food industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does The Hydroponic System Farming Enhance the Sustainability of Food Production Compared to Traditional Farming Methods?

Hydroponic farming revolutionizes food production’s sustainability. It significantly conserves water, a crucial advantage in today’s climate. It’s not just efficient; it’s smart.

Nutrient control in hydroponics allows precise, optimized plant growth. It eliminates guesswork and waste, enhancing yield and quality. Compared to traditional farming, it’s a game-changer. It’s not just farming; it’s science.

It’s not just sustainable; it’s the future.

How Does Brandon Allen’s Customized Farm Utilize Hydroponics in Its Farming Practices?

Brandon Allen’s Customized Farm cleverly utilizes hydroponics to revolutionize traditional farming.

By securing hydroponics financing, Allen’s innovation has enabled him to grow a variety of crops year-round, regardless of weather conditions.

This eco-friendly method uses less water, land, and avoids soil-borne diseases.

Allen’s hydroponic system isn’t only sustainable but also highly efficient, showcasing the future of agriculture.

How Does Hydroponics Contribute to the Renewable Energy Initiatives in Agriculture?

Hydroponics significantly contributes to renewable energy initiatives in agriculture. It’s paired with solar power to run systems, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Moreover, hydroponics’ waste management is innovative. Instead of contributing to landfills, waste becomes nutrient-rich water, reused in the system. It’s a circular process, minimizing waste and maximizing efficiency.

Hydroponics revolutionizes agriculture, aligning it with sustainability goals and renewable energy standards.

How Does the Food Innovation Park Project Incorporate Hydroponics Into Its Sustainable Food Production Strategies?

The Food Innovation Park project cleverly incorporates hydroponics into its strategies. It’s capitalizing on hydroponics economics, utilizing less water and space than traditional farming.

The park’s biodiversity is enhanced, as a wider range of crops can be grown year-round, irrespective of weather. This innovative approach not only boosts the efficiency and sustainability of food production but also significantly reduces the operation’s carbon footprint.

It’s a game-changer in the quest for sustainable eats.

How Does Hydroponics Help in Meeting the Growing Consumer Demands for Sustainable and Locally Sourced Food?

Hydroponics is revolutionizing the food industry by meeting consumer demands for sustainable, locally-sourced eats. It’s bridging the gap between urbanization’s space constraints and the need for fresh produce.

Through educational programs, it’s raising awareness about sustainable farming. So, not only does it reduce carbon footprints and conserve water, but it also ensures a supply of nutrient-rich food, aligning with the growing health consciousness.

In essence, hydroponics is nurturing a greener, healthier future.

Conclusion

Brandon Allen’s journey from traditional farming to hydroponics is a beacon of innovation in sustainable agriculture. Despite challenges, his strategic market approaches, groundbreaking Food Innovation Park, and commitment to renewable energy showcase the transformative potential of sustainable practices.

His story underscores the vital role of technology, consumer behavior, and government policies in changing the food industry. Allen’s endeavor is a call to action for supporting local artisan producers and championing renewable energy in agriculture.

Video Transcript

Speaker 2 (00:05)
So hi, I’m Colm from Amazing Food and Drink TV. Today we’re with Brandon Allen, CEO of the Food Innovation Park in Galway. And Brandon’s kindly joined us, and he’s going to tell us a bit about his background and his company. So, Brandon, over to you.

Speaker 1 (00:20)
Thanks, Colm. So a bit about my background first. I come from a farmer background in the Midlands in Roscommon. And like every other I was a 15-year-old boy at the time. All I wanted to do was farm. So I left school quite early, no education, and became a farmer at the age of 15. So I went from schoolboy to farmer, literally overnight. And spent Three to four years of that, and I realised that that’s a really tough job. It’s a really tough lifestyle that you’re putting yourself in for. And there was a lot of question marks I had about how we farm and why we farm. So I went back to education and I went back late and became a marine scientist, eventually, after many years at it. I spent a lot of time in academia. Then in 2008, I got itchy feet and I decided to go back to my farming routes. And my first business in food was Castlemine Farm. And that’s still going, and it’s going really well. And what we done there is we took the business model of our farm, we inherited from our father, myself and my brother, essentially just changed the way the farming model works.

Speaker 1 (01:26)
We didn’t change the way we farmed, but we still produced top quality products, but we changed the way we sold it. So we actually decided we’re not selling to meat processes anymore. And Colm, this might be important as the discussion goes on as why a model like this is important. We decided we’re going to find our own customers, be the chefs or even just ordinary consumers. So we had to set up a whole new route to market for our farm projects. And we did that through setting up our own process and our own retail and our own distribution. And that It took me into my second business. So I’ve multiple times gone into startup mode, particularly in the food industry.

Speaker 2 (02:06)
Before you go on that, sorry, Brett. Could you tell me why you did that? Why did you feel that you needed to change that model?

Speaker 1 (02:13)
There was a couple of reasons. Reason number one is myself and my brother both wanted a farm. But the farm itself, and it’s a big farm, it’s 250 acres. It didn’t even sustain one person, not even part-time one person, really. My father done it for many, many years, and he always went on about there was never a steady income from farmers. So this is beef and a sheep farm. My father never recommend it. He recommend it as a lifestyle, but not as a business model. You’re never going to get rich. You’re not even going to make a living. And farmers today are not making a living off farms. So we both wanted a farm. And for me, it bothered me that why had we all this value on the farm? So when you added up the actual value at consumer level, there was a lot of it. And I said, why are we getting the least each amount of it? And we use the product for the longest time. So there was a little bit of a driver in us that we want to investigate. There has to be a different way of doing this.

Speaker 1 (03:10)
We don’t have to go with the status quo and just become a really efficient monoculture beef farm, which all the farms have become. We diversify what we do, and then we found different markets for it. Now, don’t get me wrong, it was notoriously hard to develop the business model because a few reasons. We knew nothing about We didn’t know how to process meat. We didn’t know how to sell. My brother was a carpenter. I was a scientist, so we never had a sales background. We knew nothing about finances. I remember the Vash returns and things like that used to be nightmares. A box full of receipts.

Speaker 2 (03:47)
So is like my business. I was much the same as myself.

Speaker 1 (03:50)
Yeah. And you learn all these lessons in startup businesses. But on the other side, we got used to get massive feedback from customers So eventually, when we built a customer base, they became so loyal and so into what we were doing. Because literally, we were taking product from our farm in Roscommon, into Roscommon town, and selling it. So it was like growing local, sold local. And we were casting it wider out to Galway and Dublin, and places like that. But people really got into it because we’re in a farming community in Roscommon, and a lot of them were going, yeah, why aren’t we all doing this? Or why aren’t more of us doing So that was really the intrinsic motivation for doing that. Plus, I wanted to dab my toe into entrepreneurship and business.

Speaker 2 (04:39)
You had enough of academia?

Speaker 1 (04:41)
I had enough of it. The thing about academia is it’s It really is a lesson in egotism. As academics, all we want to do is inflate our own ego as much as we could over the next person. So that’s pretty much it.

Speaker 2 (04:59)
Yeah. And now you’re taking a completely different route. And I have to say, I admire you. Hard what you’ve done, especially not knowing any of the things that you just spoken about there, finances, marketing, sales, distribution. I mean, that was a leap in the A complete leap in the dark and a leap of faith.

Speaker 1 (05:16)
Well, a complete leap in the dark. And the naivety of it when you look back is that I thought all this stuff would work out. You set up a business, you see business people all the time do very well once they set up, and I thought, I’m going to be one of them.

Speaker 2 (05:29)
No The reality is totally different. I actually lecture in business studies and in marketing. But the difference in lecture and actually running a business is night and day.

Speaker 1 (05:39)
Oh, night and day, yeah. Night and day. Because lecture doesn’t tell you that you have to do 20, 40, 8 hour days.

Speaker 2 (05:46)
The business goes under. Absolutely. So sorry, I had interrupted you and asked maybe why you had done what you’d done. So I’ll carry on then.

Speaker 1 (05:57)
Where I was going with that is that we were distributing We’re doing products as well outside of Rosse comments, where we’re going up to Galway, Dublin, and different places. And we found distribution is notoriously difficult to make efficient when you’re doing it for yourself. Just bring a product to restaurants or to other retailers. And that’s what led me to my second business, which is Food 360, where I’m sitting now. And it’s a distribution business. So instead of just our products on vans, we have about 30 other small SME companies that had the same problem as us. It was extremely expensive to distribute the product. The big distributors are gone too big. It’s just you disappear in there, but you still have to do your own sales. So Food 360 then, having learnt all the lessons from Castle Mine as well as to bring all the lessons and not make all the mistakes in Food 360. We just made a different set of mistakes. I can’t say it was any easier. It was still another startup. And we’re on year three with that. And that’s beginning to go well for us now. And And then onto all this activity in food and particularly my science background, I got attracted into another project, which is Food Innovation Park.

Speaker 1 (07:10)
But the real project there is really farming. So we’re about to launch one of the biggest climate-controlled agriculture projects Ireland has ever seen. And we’re building large-scale greenhouses on the edge of the city. So we’re targeting Galway, Dublin, Cork, Limerick. Building greenhouses, controlling the climate, and do near-run production of leafy greens, herbs, and supplementing all those imports that we’re reliant on, and being able to distribute that right into the city that we’re on the doorstep of. So it really is a new model of food. It’s sustainable agriculture.

Speaker 2 (07:49)
It’s very exciting. And are you going to do the same thing? Are you going to cut out the big retailers and go direct? Or how’s it going to work?

Speaker 1 (07:56)
We’re exploring that model. The retailers are essential to get a A mass population of consumers. We wouldn’t just say we’re cutting them out. But what we are doing is we’re going to probably use the Food 360 model and other distributors like it to get to a lot of food service outlets. So chefs and John Okay, brilliant. The university are interested in the project. So we’re going to go to the market that way, and we’re going to stay as close to the market as we can to keep the carbon footprint of- That was going to be my next point.

Speaker 2 (08:28)
You’re going to reduce your carbon footprint Are you currently doing this?

Speaker 1 (08:31)
Absolutely. We’re working with an engineering company, one of the biggest in Ireland on renewable energy to drive the climate control as well. We’re using natural light, we’re using the natural climate, but we’re just supplementing it at times of the year when we need a bit more heat, a bit more light. It’s still very natural growing techniques. We’re using hydroponics, we’re using water to manage the nutrients. We use soil for the plants, but we use water to manage the nutrients. So there’s no heavy soil degradation that’s going on as well. So that’s another problem the world is facing. So this is one of the most exciting products. It’s big scale. It’s in the multiples of millions, the investment that’s gone into it.

Speaker 2 (09:10)
Amazing.

Speaker 1 (09:11)
Here’s the living daylight.

Speaker 2 (09:13)
That’s what makes it Really exciting?

Speaker 1 (09:15)
Yeah, exactly. That’s what makes it really exciting.

Speaker 2 (09:19)
Have you done this in Galway currently? Have you got a smaller model of this? We have, yeah.

Speaker 1 (09:25)
Our first pilot, I’m just literally in from the farm. Our first pilot project is up and running. We We have plants growing up there. We have a NASA scientist coming over next week to be a consultant on it. So he actually designs the growing systems for the space shuttles when they go out.

Speaker 2 (09:40)
Oh, my God. This really is big time, isn’t it?

Speaker 1 (09:42)
This is really big time. And I’m heading it up at the moment. But there’s a team of people there. There’s an investor there, and he has a team of business advisors, accountants, and engineers, and all these people, very smart people that hopefully we can get this project successful.

Speaker 2 (10:00)
So it sounds amazing.

Speaker 1 (10:02)
It does. Yeah, it does. And I’ve been reading a lot about food in the world and the global food problems. It’s these type of projects that are really needed at the moment. Scalable but local at the same time. It’s all good and well to have a small farm that grows so much salad and all these things on the doorside of the city. But you do need to look at these things at scale. How do we actually satisfy this entire market or the vast proportion of it without having to bring product in We were looking at the list of where salad comes from in Ireland. And it’s about 15 different countries. As far as way as the bottom end of Kenya, nearly the product travels all the way around all the world. And this is stuff that is only seven to 10 day shelf life. So you can imagine what…

Speaker 2 (10:48)
Unbelievable. Loads of food miles there as well.

Speaker 1 (10:50)
Loads of food miles, yeah.

Speaker 2 (10:52)
And are you going to look to satisfy the market for the whole of Ireland and then go to Britain? Or how is it going to work?

Speaker 1 (10:59)
Our intention We’re analysing the market at the moment, Jeff, but that is the attention is get as close to the cities, satisfy those cities, don’t build a farm that are so big that we need to export it out. Go to the city and build a farm that’s appropriate to that size city.

Speaker 2 (11:15)
And then would you think about going and doing the same in Britain then?

Speaker 1 (11:18)
Absolutely, yeah. Britain would be the second target. And then wherever there’s a city that has a late need for these products and is important a lot of it, that’s where we want to be.

Speaker 2 (11:30)
This could be absolutely humongous.

Speaker 1 (11:33)
It could be humongous. It’s like any startup that’s really ambitious and really innovative. It sits on a night edge all the time. That’s where I’m most comfortable is in that really intense discomfort.

Speaker 2 (11:48)
At the edge of your comfort zone.

Speaker 1 (11:50)
Exactly. That’s where I know you’re personally growing and you’re personally learning. So I’m really enjoying it as a project because every day you’re getting is even more challenging than the last.

Speaker 2 (12:02)
So you’re still running Castle Mines?

Speaker 1 (12:05)
Well, my brother runs Castle Mines now.

Speaker 2 (12:06)
Okay.

Speaker 1 (12:07)
Business partners that I set up food 360 with are running that.

Speaker 2 (12:11)
So you’re still- I’m on the next one.

Speaker 1 (12:13)
So I It looks like I need to exit businesses quickly, but it’s not. I like to start businesses. I’m actually only average at managing businesses, if that makes sense. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (12:26)
You’re in the driving force behind new starts or whatever.

Speaker 1 (12:29)
Yeah, there’s a huge difference in the person that starts it and the person that manages it. I’m definitely the person that can start things up.

Speaker 2 (12:36)
I actually sound very like you. Details don’t really do it for me.

Speaker 1 (12:40)
No, no, no, no. No good of those things.

Speaker 2 (12:42)
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. So what could you tell me is hot in the Irish food scene at the minute, Brandon?

Speaker 1 (12:48)
Hot in the food scene at the minute? So the biggest trend I’ve seen. So we set up Castle Mine in 2008, 2009. We were the first two years at it. And the idea of local food was none I wouldn’t say nonexistent, but it was only a very few elite chefs that were dealing with local farmers. That has become mainstream. So it’s the standard now for a restaurant to be getting as much product as they can from local suppliers. That is what has become the trend. Following on from that then, health and wellbeing is taken over from everything else. So I’ll give you an example. When we were in our shop in Roscommon, we now get asked what our animals eat. Brilliant.

Speaker 2 (13:35)
So people are now interested in the backstory where they never were before?

Speaker 1 (13:39)
They’re interested in so much detail now that they never did before. But that’s purely Because the accessibility of information online has educated people to a massive experience. It’s that they know about their food now. They want to know everything they can about their food. So you can see it. You can see the fall. I’m I’m convinced there will be a major fall in sugar consumption, and there probably is already.

Speaker 2 (14:05)
That’s one of the points I was going to ask you about later. So we’ll talk about it now. So sugar seems to be the big bad guy at the minute.

Speaker 1 (14:12)
Yeah, and rightly so, because when you look at it, when you see what’s happening, a lot of the food industry is controlled by corporates. And when the food industry is dominated by corporates or any industry, profit is the main driver. So nutrition and health are not the the main driver. Absolutely not. So profit is the main driver. And what we’ve seen over the last few decades is that corporations have taken fruit ingredients and they’ve nearly cut them down like cocaine to dilute them down for the consumer. And what they’ve done with that is they wanted to just cut down the product, get margin into it, but the consequence is nutrition has been stripped out. Extracted, yeah. And then they’ve used salts and sugars and everything else to maintain flavour and taste. So that’s why there’s so much hidden sugar in different- Yeah, microwave of meals or whatever, any other stuff. Exactly. You’re seeing the consumer wake up to that now. And you’ll see all the things I do cross it myself from these growth industries. All those people are eating healthier. In Castamine, we’re launching a whole new range of healthy meals. And that’s just a complete response to the demand.

Speaker 2 (15:26)
The demand, absolutely. I’ve seen there’s some in the north as well where they’re actually building meals based around people who are training in the likes of CrossFit and so high protein and no sugar.

Speaker 1 (15:36)
Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. And the other thing is fermented products. In Food 360, we have a couple of fermented products like kombucha and a kefir. They are absolutely flying it. We’re doing pallet loads of them. It’s that they’re low in sugar, but they’re high in healthy bacteria. So people now know that their microbiome is nearly the next organ that’s to be spoken And it’s what you’re talking about. It’s like your gut health, it dictates so much things from your moods to everything else. Absolutely.

Speaker 2 (16:08)
And we’re being educated so much more than we’re previously about all this stuff.

Speaker 1 (16:12)
Yeah. So information is With our smartphones, the information is freely available now and people are soaking it up. And they’re soaking it up in high volumes.

Speaker 2 (16:23)
Which is great for you and your new business, particularly.

Speaker 1 (16:25)
Oh, absolutely. It’s fantastic for us. But Those are the main trends I see. You see the health thing, it’s really starting now. I think we’re really waking up to it. I do think there’s still a long way to go. I think we’re only started on that because there’s still a lot of processed foods. There’s still a lot of bad diets out there. The one thing I would say is that the nutrition industry does itself no favours. It confuses the hell out of people all the time. One is good for you today, but it’s not tomorrow. Cheese is good for you today, it’s not tomorrow.

Speaker 2 (16:54)
I remember growing up, eggs were bad, then they’re good. Red meat’s bad, now it’s good. It’s.

Speaker 1 (17:01)
Exactly. The only people that didn’t fall for it were my parents. They always had butter, and it was bad for them for years. They still had it, and I used to give out, and now it’s good for them, so they’re still eating it.

Speaker 2 (17:11)
Unbelievable. I did not like butter for probably the whole of my life until about six months ago. And I’d seen a programme about a long time ago that Marjorie was actually originally made to fatten up poultry, and it didn’t work. It was making the poultry sick. And somebody said, Well, we’ve got money invest in this. Let’s turn it into a product that we now take. I take butter, and I can’t actually take margarine anymore. And it’s something I couldn’t palp. It’s unbelievable.

Speaker 1 (17:37)
And rightly so.

Speaker 2 (17:38)
I wish I’d done it 30 years ago.

Speaker 1 (17:40)
Yeah, absolutely. So healthy fats, they know now it’s good for your brain. It’s good for energy levels. It’s so much better than any refined sugar.

Speaker 2 (17:50)
Absolutely. And we heard the fat before. It was like, oh, anything fat’s bad.

Speaker 1 (17:55)
Yeah, exactly. And cholesterol and all these things that are And now these myths have been… There weren’t any myths. There were actually industries trying to- Fabrications? Fabrications. Put down fat, get sugar in, get carbohydrates in, because we get more money out of that.

Speaker 2 (18:10)
Of course. Yeah. Didn’t they recommend that you had six slices of bread per day as part of a healthy diet. I wonder who come up with that, Stan.

Speaker 1 (18:20)
I’m sure it’s a bread. Absolutely.

Speaker 2 (18:24)
So, Brandon, what are you passionate about? Tell me about your passions in food.

Speaker 1 (18:29)
In food, the thing I’m most passionate about is, and one of the reasons for everything that I’ve done today is the idea of creating a sustainable food industry. And core to that sustainable food industry is Farmer has been taken care of, getting fair value for what they produce and not being stuck at the poor end of the supply chain, which they are at the moment.

Speaker 2 (18:54)
And they do all the hard work, if you’d be honest as well.

Speaker 1 (18:56)
They do all the hard work. And your beef farmer in Ireland is getting less the production price for beef. And you ask, why then did they do it? Number one, farmers love it. They love farming. It’s in their blood. But trying to break out the mentality that we’re caught in, that this is where we’re stuck. Farmers have a fixed mindset. It is how it is. We have to take the price we get and we can just give out about it and stand outside Tesco and go up to the government buildings and protest. I And I think that’s a missed opportunity. I think if you take a growth mindset towards it and say, look, let’s look at this differently. We might have to do it as a collective. And that’s probably the only way a farmer can innovate going forward in a way that will create massive value for itself. We’ve collectively come together, come up with different solutions. There’s more than one way to reach consumers. We’ve seen what AirBnB and Uber have done to the industry.

Speaker 2 (19:54)
Disrupted the market?

Speaker 1 (19:55)
Facebook have done to an advertiser. Totally disrupted the But food hasn’t had a major disruption yet. Hello Fresh, a few things are bringing them food to people’s homes. There’s nothing to say the farmers can’t be part of that.

Speaker 2 (20:12)
But you’re the forefront, that’s nice. Well, you’re the forefront, that’s now. You’re heading it.

Speaker 1 (20:16)
Sometimes I’d like to think so. Sometimes you get frustrated by the lack of progress that you can make because you’re up against massive companies.

Speaker 2 (20:25)
Yeah, the rubber wall where they’re fighting back to try and keep your head down.

Speaker 1 (20:30)
Exactly. I spend a lot of time looking at me, profit and losses, banging my head against the tables on. What am I doing? But at the same time, with one, two, three, four, nearly five different companies all trying to tackle a different component of this, from Kessel ninth of Food 360, we have an agri-tech project doing sustainability measurements called FarmEye. We have really farm doing this large scale sustainable farming. But my ultimate passion be to be able to bring groups of farmers together or be able to bring a collective of farmers together and give them the capabilities, the process and sales capabilities to get fair value. Absolutely. The consumer will not need to pay anymore. All we have to do is displace that value in the big large corporates in the middle of the supply chain. I give lectures all the time in universities, and I always get in trouble with one or two of these guys in the audience. And they said, well, they’re doing this. It’s fantastic. It’s not. The meat industry, in particular, it’s run by a cartel. It’s suppressing farmers deliberately in order to maintain their own margins. And my true passion lies within that.

Speaker 2 (21:41)
Breaking that?

Speaker 1 (21:42)
Breaking that model because I’m one of these people that when I see something is wrong, I don’t just settle for it. I just said it doesn’t have to be wrong.

Speaker 2 (21:50)
We can fix it?

Speaker 1 (21:52)
We can fix it, yeah. And all it takes us enough people or enough… You know yourself, your idea is stupid until it’s proven right and then you’re a genius. The one thing I am excited about is, over the last five years of John, been doing a lot of lectures and stuff like that. You see this young, very educated farmer. Educated up to PhD level because they’re staying off the farm as long as they can.

Speaker 2 (22:21)
It’s too hard work.

Speaker 1 (22:23)
Phds, but they’re going back to the farm and they’re not… They even tell you they’re not going to just do it the old way. They’re I’m going to innovate and they’re going to come up with new products and new services and new ways of making a living off firms. I just love seeing that. It’s a breath of fresh air.

Speaker 2 (22:38)
It’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. More people like yourself?

Speaker 1 (22:42)
Well, you’d hope so. I hope they’ll use me as a role model of it.

Speaker 2 (22:47)
You’re underselling yourself, Brandon.

Speaker 1 (22:49)
Yeah. When you live in my world where you get more wrong than right. But at the same time, it does This is going to take people to… I’m not worried about the consumer because I think the consumer is changing. And everybody looks to the consumer and say, Well, the consumer will have to pay more money. They will. The consumer will have to change their habits. They will. If they’re educated and they know what’s going on, they will respond to it because the consumer is very conscientious. They’re changing rapidly. Sustainability is in the forefront of their mind when you look at the way of plastics and things like that are going. Once they become aware of how broken Our food system is. Our food system is dictated by corporates, built on profit. Health and sustainability are nonexistent in it.

Speaker 2 (23:39)
Bottom of the pile, if even on the pile.

Speaker 1 (23:41)
Yeah. And what it’s doing, it’s making our populations unhealthy. And then we have a very, very robust pharmaceutical sector on the back of that.

Speaker 2 (23:50)
That helps us once to make us sick, they help us stay sick.

Speaker 1 (23:53)
Exactly. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy theory. I don’t think someone is out there pulling strings. I think that’s just the way it’s happened over the last 40 years. It just became this. And people seeing opportunities to treat disease, people seeing opportunities to feed people with very poor food. And we’re left with what We’re just taking it? Yeah, it’s not a conspiracy of any sort. It’s just what we ended up with.

Speaker 2 (24:23)
So do you see many food companies starting up, say last year, maybe even coming into this year, with that in mind that they want to try and break this stranglehold from these corporates? What’s it like in the Food Innovation Park itself? Have you many small business startups there?

Speaker 1 (24:41)
Well, the main thing we’re working on is the relief farm. It’s the climate-controlled agriculture. We also have an R&D company there as well. What I’m seeing is we meet a lot of small SME food companies. The ones that are The ones that are doing well are the ones that are focusing on health. But the ones that are doing really well are the ones that are not going through the traditional supermarket market. That’s really tough. You need a lot of margin to get a distributor and sell to a retailer. They need high volumes to actually survive there. They’re not doing that well. But like a company called Thin Cut Meals in Galway, they’re selling most of their stuff direct, either online or to your door or whatever. And it’s just meals. They bring you healthy, nutritious meals to your door. They are doing really well. Now, saying that, it looks like they’re doing really well. I have no idea. Everybody thinks I’m doing really well.

Speaker 2 (25:36)
You see all the money coming in, but not good what goes out the other end.

Speaker 1 (25:39)
Yeah, exactly. I lost me through in the thought on the question, but it was- I should have said, are there many food companies starting up who are maybe trying to break the stranglehold of the corporates? Yeah. None of them. What you have in this country, and it was actually the Minister for Agriculture at Simon Coveney spoke about it, is that you have a huge amount of really, really small companies, and you have a huge amount of really, really big fruit companies. You have very little in the middle. Once a small company gets any traction, they’re normally acquired by the bigger company, they’re granted, acquired. And so there’s consolidation among the bigger companies just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And breaking the stranglehold of the corporates is a mammoth task. Absolutely. It’s a huge task. And there’s some making some strides in other countries like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron in New York. In America, there’s some exciting stuff happening. Now, some really ridiculous stuff happening, like synthetic meats and stuff like that, which I don’t agree with at all.

Speaker 2 (26:44)
Yeah, Have you seen a wee bit of that? They’re growing meat in a test tube type stuff.

Speaker 1 (26:49)
Tests tube are plant-based proteins, which is fine, but don’t turn them into meat, but think you’re eating meat. Just eat the plant-based proteins. If you’re just still want to eat meat, eat meat. And I know meat production is not the most sustainable, but in Ireland, we have the best of what’s to offer in the world. So a lot of stuff happens. A lot of startups in America, and And these plant-based sport teams and different things like that. So that’s becoming more popular. But what that’s all leading to is more processed synthetic, corporate-controlled food.

Speaker 2 (27:27)
All that will happen is the big boys will come in and probably take it over.

Speaker 1 (27:31)
That’s it. And it becomes corporatised. And it’s like food that’s designed for profit is a dangerous thing.

Speaker 2 (27:38)
It really is. I get that. And have you seen any success stories of local maybe artisan producers or anyone doing really well?

Speaker 1 (27:47)
There are plenty of them around. When you’re an artisan producer, you have to work yourself into the ground just to make a living. It’s really a little bit lighter. It’s very hard to scale a small food business because distribution is really difficult. You might have a six month long shelf life and you think that’s great, but if you have a product sitting on a shelf for six months, it’s not selling. So you really need… I have this thing. If you have a year long shelf life, don’t bother. Month, it’s too long still. If it’s 10 days, if it’s moving in those 10 days, you have a business model, but you have to work like hell.

Speaker 2 (28:27)
Yeah, to keep it turned.

Speaker 1 (28:28)
It’s those guys at So people that are doing fresh, chilled product like that are doing quite well at it. Those clean-cut meals. Every week, they’re selling to the same customers. That’s the business model you can Castlemine Farm is the same. Every week, we’re selling to the same people. That’s one that you could- Because it like what you do and how you’re doing it then, yeah? Yeah, exactly. So there’s plenty of those companies around that are doing good products And at the Food Academy with Musgraves, we do a lot of their product, like Blake’s Organic Kefir, Synergy Kombucha. These guys are getting great traction. Good. Again, all based on health and wellbeing.

Speaker 2 (29:14)
Which is actually brilliant to see and hear that we, as consumers, are starting to actually realise what we’re putting in their bodies is really important.

Speaker 1 (29:21)
Exactly.

Speaker 2 (29:22)
What about, Brendan, the local Irish drinks market? Any ideas of what’s going on there?

Speaker 1 (29:30)
As in an alcoholic drinks?

Speaker 2 (29:31)
Or non-alcoholic, whatever. I mean, you’ve spoken about some of those protein-based drinks, the probiotics.

Speaker 1 (29:39)
Yeah, that’s… Kombucha, we’ve seen three companies approach us. We’re working with two of them. One’s Really doing very well. We’re seeing a massive trend, and particularly in rural areas, which didn’t take us. It took us unexpectedly that older women and men that drank kombucha and kefir or made it themselves years ago. It had fallen out of favour and now it’s back. These things were mainstream. Kever as well. It’s fermented milk. Good for weight loss, good for the microbiome, good for- Is that similar to the Skier or whatever it’s called, the Icelandic stuff? It could be.

Speaker 2 (30:19)
I don’t know what that is. I think that’s that type of thing.

Speaker 1 (30:21)
It’s like a milk- Yeah. It’s milk that’s not filled with bacteria and fermented. That’s about a company in Lieter. And they’re doing very well with that. Outside of that, you have a huge revolution in the craft beer market.

Speaker 2 (30:39)
Yeah, I was going to ask about the alcohol drinks industry then?

Speaker 1 (30:42)
And whiskey stands There’s a chance of booming because it’s mostly export. Craft beer is mostly within the country.

Speaker 2 (30:51)
And the fittest will survive on that.

Speaker 1 (30:55)
And I think that’s already happening with that industry. I I’ve seen some of the results for the likes of Guinness. Guinness Stout is down, but some of the other products are up. So there’s a change in consumer habits. The pub is what I see in rural Ireland anyway. The pub is the The coffee shop has replaced the pub, actually, in places like Roscommon. The publicans are quiet, but the coffee shops are booming during the day.

Speaker 2 (31:22)
It’s actually unbelievable, isn’t it? Where the pub used to be centre of village life, for example, in Ireland, it’s now, as you say, the coffee shop.

Speaker 1 (31:29)
Exactly. And if you’re talking about drinks, probably the biggest growth area is coffee.

Speaker 2 (31:34)
Which obviously isn’t local or… Well, it could be sustainable, but not in Ireland, anyway.

Speaker 1 (31:38)
It could be sustainable, but I do my research on all sorts of farming models. Even in the fair trade model of coffee, farmers are getting below cost price for their coffee beans a lot of the time.

Speaker 2 (31:50)
And you may guess if they’re not fair trade, they’re getting even less then, I’m assuming?

Speaker 1 (31:53)
Exactly. We’re working with a couple of groups worldwide. So there’s a big movement worldwide. There’s a group called Culture, and they’re helping farmers develop their own processing, their own co-ops for processing, packaging, and selling their product. So they’re getting better value for it. Here in Ireland, we’re importing some of that product to sell to some of our chefs or some of our shops. And that’s the ultimate utopia, Colin, is that if groups of farmers around the world that are selling to the local people will also trade with each other.

Speaker 2 (32:25)
Brilliant. So small cooperatives trading at their continent, if you want to have a better expression.

Speaker 1 (32:31)
All of a sudden you have a global movement of products. So we’re dealing with a farmer in Vietnam that’s doing rice. Brilliant. They’re getting closer. He’s working with an Irish guy that’s actually allowing him to go through the whole process of packing it and export. So hopefully we hope to bring his rice direct from the farm into Ireland and into our customers. That’d be brilliant.

Speaker 2 (32:57)
I’ll add another string to your bow and give your customers There’s more sustainable costs.

Speaker 1 (33:01)
That’s the thing. You’re enabling farmers to not allow the corporate machines just to take all the value out.

Speaker 2 (33:08)
Which is something that we definitely need to tackle. No question about that.

Speaker 1 (33:12)
Well, that’s what I think, anyway.

Speaker 2 (33:15)
And I’m saying we, I’m a steady slicker, brendan. I’m relying on people like you to take it right up and not just buy your produce.

Speaker 1 (33:21)
Yeah, it’s definitely. And again, I’m not worried about the consumer. Once we bring it to them, they’ll…

Speaker 2 (33:27)
Yeah, it’s like once you see it, you can’t unsee it. So people will start ban.

Speaker 1 (33:31)
Exactly. It’s like the whole plastics revolution. Once people know, they’re walking up to it and they’re changing.

Speaker 2 (33:38)
And they are actually changing. They absolutely are changing. The amount of packaging is ridiculously bad.

Speaker 1 (33:45)
Yeah. And you do notice it now. Even I notice it myself. I’m in a commitment on the first of January not to use a disposable cup this year, and I’m still on track. I have a month done.

Speaker 2 (33:56)
Good lad.

Speaker 1 (33:57)
That’s 31 cups and lids that I’ve gone, haven’t been used. And by the time I’m at the end of the year, it’ll be 365. Then when you start to think of the- If everyone was doing that? But you think of the enormity of just yourself, your own impact, and that’s just cups, though. If you look at other parts of your lives and you think, God, what else am I wasting?

Speaker 2 (34:18)
Oh, my God. The amount of plastic, especially in my recycling, is beyond a joke.

Speaker 1 (34:23)
Yeah. So consumers are not my worry. That’s the one thing I’ve become more and more attuned to is that when I speak to people, they get what we’re trying to do. My frustration is not getting it done quicker or getting it done at more scale, constantly stuck in the small business world. But we break out But someday.

Speaker 2 (34:45)
Yeah, you keep chipping away anyway. It’s doing really well. So tell me, as, Brendan, how is the Irish farming industry as a farmer yourself? How is it?

Speaker 1 (34:54)
It’s probably at its most pivotal point in decades, I would say. Brexit are on the corner. So I’ll speak mostly about beef and sheep farming here because that’s what I know. Brexit is around the corner. 50 % of our meat goes over to the UK. It could be a three euro per kilo tariff on that as of the 30th of March this year. If that’s allowed to happen, I know, and there’s no intervention on that. Bee farming is on its knees already. Eighty % of beef farmers go off farm to make money and a high percentage of them spend their actual pay on their farm.

Speaker 2 (35:33)
So they’re supplementing it themselves.

Speaker 1 (35:39)
Our farmer, Castamind is totally insulated. We sell all our products direct to local people. But to Every other beef farmer, which is 98 % of farmers, only 2 % not on the model. They don’t control the thing. They don’t control customers or the price they get. So that business model is flawed from day one.

Speaker 2 (35:58)
So they literally just farm and pass the The beef or whatever it is to the big companies?

Speaker 1 (36:03)
Yeah. No matter how it’s juiced, they let on to be. They’re only hoping for a price at the end of it. They’re not guaranteed with. And so Irish farming is at a pivotal moment. There’s no farming that’s not exposed to Brexit, in dairy and sheep and everything else is as well. But the beef sector, a lot of farmers will tell you that nobody knows what’s going to happen there. What I can see happening is two things: mass industrialization. So the processes will need supply, so they’ll have to start acquiring farms. They’re already doing this. One of the biggest farms is owned by Larry Goodman in this country. So what you’ll see is bigger industrialization. So you’ll get the American model of large feed lots.

Speaker 2 (36:47)
So it’s actually getting worse instead of better?

Speaker 1 (36:50)
Oh, yeah. It’s getting worse. And that’s going to drive more unhealthy practises in the beef industry. Is that our innovation? We take an innovative approach as to it. Farmers create their own co-ops again. It happened before. It didn’t work, but that’s not to say it.

Speaker 2 (37:04)
It couldn’t work again.

Speaker 1 (37:06)
I was to stop every time it didn’t work in business.

Speaker 2 (37:09)
Yeah, absolutely. You can’t stop. You got to keep going.

Speaker 1 (37:12)
Yeah. But when you’re talking about a collective of people, it’s harder to bring them on to a goal. Innovation, business model innovation is what agriculture needs to look at. We cannot look to government policy nor unions like the IFA. It’s goodwill as they are, they don’t know what’s exactly needed. And they’ll just keep banging the old mantra of give us more money, give us more money, give us more money, give us more money for a product. It’s not going to work anymore.

Speaker 2 (37:40)
We have to. Yeah. So that’s like giving them on a face instead of the fishing rod?

Speaker 1 (37:43)
Exactly. So I’d be really worried about, particularly the beef, the meat sector in Ireland. Because the other thing as well is that sector is on the decline because meat is unpopular and the journal in The Lancet there are the- Yeah, veganism is on the rise. Veganism is on the rise. And you have a lot of exposure to all those elements.

Speaker 2 (38:06)
So it’s- Seems to be a lot of negative publicity around meat, which quite a lot of it’s unfounded, I imagine, but it makes it doubley harder for the beef farmers?

Speaker 1 (38:17)
Yeah. To say it’s unfoundered… So there’s a couple of things. There’s sustainability of farms. So is meat production sustainable? You go on to Borebeaths’ website right in Ireland and they say, yeah, we’ve Orange and green. It’s a great programme. There’s very little foundation on that. Beef farming does use a lot of water, does have a lot of methane, a lot of carbon dioxide goes into it. So it’s not a sustainable practise. But a lot of the damage that we’ve done in this world is not caused by food production, it was caused by transport and fossil fuels and all these other things. But now we’re looking to food to fix it. It’s one And the industry creates the problem and then say, right, we need this other industry to stop farming the way they’re doing it because it’s bad for the world. So it seems very unfair. There’s no journal coming out saying, lads, we have to stop driving our cars. You only drive a half a mile a day. Like they’re saying, eat half a meatball a day. There’s no one talking about driving cars. So it’s very unfair to attack just food. It’s a holistic approach that’s needed.

Speaker 1 (39:29)
Food needs to be… A farmer needs to be more sustainable. But I always had this thing, Adam, is that there’s no sustainability possible ever unless farmers are fairly treated. Their mindset is all about, I can just need to break even or make a little bit of money. So how do I do that? I become more and more and more efficient. And when that’s your mindset, sustainability practises are at the window. I don’t have time. I don’t have the head space.

Speaker 2 (39:55)
You’re just trying to keep your head above water?

Speaker 1 (39:58)
If you Release that valve on the farmer that, look, you’re going to get fair value. We’re all going to make money out of this. Next thing, you get them thinking in a different way. They’ll start thinking about sustainability, conserving energy, conserving water, doing all the things that are making farming better and better for the environment. But sustainability is three prongs of social, economic, and environment. Everybody thinks it’s just environment. The economic aspect of it is huge. Farmers have to be sustainable.

Speaker 2 (40:30)
I think you should be chatting to the Irish government and other governments for that matter to let them see the light, Brandon.

Speaker 1 (40:35)
Would they listen as they answer, Colin?

Speaker 2 (40:37)
Probably the big corporates wouldn’t let them listen. That’s the difficulty.

Speaker 1 (40:42)
The lobbyist power of the meat industry is quite. Of course.

Speaker 2 (40:45)
You’d spoken there about cooperatives around the world. Maybe that’s the way to go. If local Irish beef farmers and maybe rice farmers in Vietnam got together and started trading. Maybe that’s something.

Speaker 1 (40:58)
That’s what we’re trying to create in a way.

Speaker 2 (41:01)
Just to export them, but in a different way, in a sustainable way.

Speaker 1 (41:05)
And the funny thing is, we just need to process the product and sell it. Those two steps is known science. There’s nothing massively innovative here. If we’re able to process our product, sell it into markets, and make sure that value is distributed among the farmers, and the process and the sales element is looked after as well. It’s not a difficult And I know if you approach Musgraves or Tesco’s or any of these guys, you say, Right, we can sell you direct from farmers, or you can buy through this system. They’ll go with the farmers, but they want what their customers want. You see the marketing that a lot of places do is that we buy direct from farmers.

Speaker 2 (41:49)
Absolutely. And have the farmers on the front of the packaging now.

Speaker 1 (41:52)
Exactly. No, they don’t. They buy off meat processors. They have the farmers under control. They call it spade is spade. But those opportunities will be there. I’ve no doubt that you have a hell of a competitive advantage if you’re going in at a similar price, if you’re going in against, say, the meat processes. But this is us as farmers coming. They’re going to listen because it’s more sustainable. Farmers are getting a price. Farmers are going to be happy. They’ll be able to trace it all the way back. Farmers then can do sustainability practises that will help even the sales of that product because it’s more sustainable. I tell you, it’s been exciting.

Speaker 2 (42:37)
That would be a brilliant growth area, wouldn’t it?

Speaker 1 (42:39)
Yeah. All it takes is a few people to get together and raise the capital and go for it.

Speaker 2 (42:46)
But you’re doing very well so far. So tell me, I know you’ve got this big, massive project on with the sustainable farming with the lettuce leaves, et cetera. Any other future plans, anything in the background there we haven’t spoken about?

Speaker 1 (42:59)
Yeah, there’s lots of ideas. They’re not the- The problem? They’re not the problem.

Speaker 2 (43:06)
Getting them to creation?

Speaker 1 (43:06)
Climate execution is the thing. No, really focusing on the climate control agriculture at the moment. Do have a lot of plans around different re-engaged in my academic background, working with universities, because we’re going to become… The way I view it is we’re going to become experts in plant production. Plants hold a huge potential for us in terms of the phytochemicals, all the different micronutrients we can get from plants. And people are finding out so much more that the way you grow a plant through light, through the nutrients, you can actually increase phytochemicals or different compounds that can then be derived out for supplements or for health and for different things. Now, that’s very much an R&D end of things. But that’s The approach I’m taking with this as well is that we’re growing for food, but we also want to grow for health and well-being as well. So that’s an area I’m interested in.

Speaker 2 (44:10)
Yeah. And it’s becoming much more prevalent in society, and we’re thinking about it ourselves, which is great for you then.

Speaker 1 (44:16)
Exactly. But also this idea of a collective of farmers and having a global system where farmers are trading with each other and you have the distribution and the sales links to it as well, that’s one that really excites me. It’s something that is always there and I have the components of it.

Speaker 2 (44:36)
Just getting it. But it can be doable. It’ll take a lot of people like yourself with a bit of drive and a bit of know-how.

Speaker 1 (44:43)
Yeah, it is doable. There’s no doubt about it. It’s doable. But you’re right. It takes someone to grasp it by the colour and make a go of it. And maybe I’m the one that fails, but the person that comes after me learns from what we failed on. You always see that If the innovator fails quickly, and then the one coming behind them is the one that succeed.

Speaker 2 (45:03)
But it wouldn’t matter for you because your passion is that. You’ll be happy with that, actually.

Speaker 1 (45:09)
Oh, yes. If you’re aligned on your deathbed, then you realise that you created some change It would be great.

Speaker 2 (45:17)
I hope you’re the one to succeed, if I’ll be honest with you, Brett, because your passion shines through.

Speaker 1 (45:22)
Hopefully.

Speaker 2 (45:23)
So tell me, if anyone wants to find out anything more about what you’re doing and all of the ventures you’re involved in, how do they So there’s a couple of ways.

Speaker 1 (45:32)
Castleminefarm. Ie@castlemine is our Twitter account on that. I’m on LinkedIn myself.

Speaker 2 (45:38)
You are indeed. I found you there. And I’ll actually put this underneath the video as well.

Speaker 1 (45:44)
Perfect. So I’m on LinkedIn myself. And then we’re setting up… Food 360 is the other venture that we have. And we’re doing a lot of exciting things there on route to market. And that’s food-360. Com. We’re launching some new New things there. It should be new home delivery website and a lot of new exciting things there as well. But the main place to find me, and I’m quite good at getting back to people is on LinkedIn as well.

Speaker 2 (46:11)
Brilliant. I’m sure lots of our viewers will be very interested in this video and what you’ve just said, Brendan.

Speaker 1 (46:18)
Hopefully. I’m always interested to hear from people who want to get involved in some way.

Speaker 2 (46:23)
Well, it’s been absolutely amazing to chat to you. Really informative, very interesting. And on behalf of Amazing Food and Drink TV, I’d like to thank you very much for taking part.

Speaker 1 (46:34)
Not at all. Thank you, Colin.

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