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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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WillowWarm Briquettes: No carbon tax and fires burn longer

WillowWarm Briquettes provide alternative land uses for Irish farmers and landowners alike “by using it in a more sustainable and economically viable way,” the company founders claim.

The Meath-based business was founded on the foot of a desire to help the island become a “true” carbon-neutral society by introducing its carbon-neutral product to the Irish marketplace.

WillowWarm claims to manufacture “carbon neutral” briquettes, which they growsand produce in Ireland.

The firm claims the product is “truly” carbon neutral from the species of the crop that it utilises and its raft of processes.

The firm believes its product offers “an environmentally friendly value for money alternative to traditional fuel briquettes”.

WillowWarm Briquettes

According to a company spokesperson, the product is:

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  • 100% carbon neutral “solid fuel alternative”;
  • Made from 100% sustainably grown Irish wood;
  • High heat efficiency producing a long, clean burn;
  • Fire burns longer – less ash, less moisture;
  • Value for money as not liable to carbon tax.

The spokesperson noted that WillowWarm Briquettes can be used in all wood-burning stoves, conventional open fires and outdoor chimineas.

WillowWarm Briquettes are available in over 500 outlets throughout Ireland.

According to a spokesperson for Willow Warm, the crop is locally harvested, “which means we do not need to input any raw materials or fossil fuels”.

“We intend to grow this annually. This will allow us to have a true indigenous carbon-neutral and renewable energy supply.”

“Our manufacturing facility, based here in Co Meath, is the first of its kind in Ireland. Straight through from intake to its drying technology, its robotic infrastructure and into the end product.”

Fox’s words

The spokesperson explained that the new briquetting process involves the growing of willow on farmland, which he says, provides a carbon-neutral crop, benefiting the Irish economy and environment.

Willow is harvested every two years, and once planted, it provides 36 years of continuous crop production without the need for annual replanting, ploughing or re-seeding.”

“This is an anonymous financial benefit to the farmer, and clearly, the economics of this crop can speak for themselves.”

“Instead, it is simply re-harvested every two years, and the cycle continues, making it the sustainable option for Ireland.”

“As harvesting rotation is every two years, 50% of the total plantation acres are harvested annually.”

“Each acre yields approximately 20 to 25 tonnes of willow chip per harvest. However, it does depend on the land quality and soil fertility,” they concluded.

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