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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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ETTG: Piedmontese farmer reaping the rewards of growing market for leaner cuts of beef

Tonight’s episode of Ear to the Ground features an innovative start-up at the forefront of the bioeconomic movement in Ireland, a pearl mussel project and a Piedmontese cattle breeder.


One of the most fascinating start-ups to emerge from Ireland in recent years has been Hexafly.

Established in 2016, the company is at the forefront of the bioeconomic movement in Ireland. It has developed a technology to breed Black Soldier Flies and grow larvae from the eggs produced. This is then used as an animal feed product that is sustainable, high in protein and gaining traction worldwide.

Darragh McCullough is on-site in Co. Meath to follow the process and assess the potential of insect protein for Irish farming.

Pearl mussel

Ireland’s oldest animal, the freshwater pearl mussel, lives to 120 years, making many of them older than the state itself.

Sadly, it is also endangered as it relies on purity of water to survive and is highly sensitive to environmental changes. Irish farmers and ecologists are now working hand-in-hand to manage farming habitat to save this animal.

Ella McSweeney is in Co. Mayo to learn how this partnership is making a difference.

Piedmontese cattle

Regardless of the advice he was given, Tipperary farmer, John Commins, was determined to keep farming beef. So much so that he travelled to Italy to find a more profitable breed.

There, he discovered Piedmontese cattle, an intriguing breed with a double-muscled physique. Helen Carroll meets John on his farm to find out about the challenges of acclimatizing his herd to the Irish weather, and the benefits from a growing market in Ireland for a leaner cut of beef.


Tune into Ear to the Ground on RTÉ One tonight (Thursday, November 12th, 2020 ) at 8:30pm.

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