However, due to the unprecedented demand for our product, it will not be possible for us to supply all the outlets which were being supplied last year. Unfortunately the supply will always be limited because in order to maintain the integrity of our product, we will only use organic oats grown on our own farm, Ballard Organic Farm. Therefore, our production will always be limited by the size of our farm which is currently running at full capacity for oat production.
We really regret that many of our valued customers will be disappointed at not being able to buy Kilbeggan Organic Porridge Oats and we would like to acknowledge your support in the past which has been instrumental in no small way in helping our brand to become so well established in a very short time.
The Lalor Family
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Ballard Farm, Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath
Pat Lalor’s decision, in 1999, to move from conventional to organic farming was a pragmatic one – “to try and make some more money,” he admits. “But I suppose since then I’ve come to enjoy the organic way of farming. When I was a conventional farmer, I was a scientific farmer. Now, I’m a biological farmer. My job is to nurture the soil, look after it, get it into the best possible state of health, so it will grow crops that are disease free.” The crucial difference is that, with conventional farming, if you encounter problems there is always a quick fix, a prescription. With organic farming, the plan is to avoid having problems, because there are no quick fixes.
So what most appeals to him about the farming lifestyle? “On a wet day, nothing appeals to me,” he says, then admits, “I like being my own boss, I like to make up my mind as I go along at my own pace. I could not be governed by a clock.” The downside, of course, is the unpredictability. “It’s very difficult to plan anything ahead; when the weather changes, your plans have to change. If you’re a very rigid person who likes all their ducks in a row, you’d go mad. It’s not for everybody,” he says. These days, Pat produces his own porridge, that breakfast staple Kilbeggan Organic oats. “That’s a very good development,” he says. “There’s more to life than making money, there’s job satisfaction as well, and there’s more of that now than there has ever been.”
Our products are available in select Health Food Stores throughout Ireland and comes in two distinct types, porridge oatlets also called fine or creamy porridge and jumbo oats. Both products are exactly the same as they both come from the oat grain, but the jumbo is the whole oat and the oatlet is the jumbo oat cut up into three or four pieces.
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Pat Lalor, Kilbeggan Organic Oats
2013 EIRGRID EURO – TOQUES FOOD AWARD WINNER
Pat Lalor converted his family farm near Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath to organic is 1999 in order to “make more money”. He became certified by the Organic Trust and the changeover did increase profitability on the farm but also inadvertently led Pat down the road of direct marketing and hugely increased satisfaction in his role as a farmer.
After the conversion, Pat brought 50% of his farm land into oat production. Realising the quality of his product and wanting it to be recognised as coming from his farm, in 2011 he took the bold step of his selling his porridge oats direct under his own brand. ‘Kilbeggan Organic Foods’ was born. He now produces 100 tonnes of porridge oats and 100% of these are sold direct under the Kilbeggan brand. While about 90% are sold within Ireland, his oats are now stocked in high end NY food store Dean & Deluca and Selfridges in London. Demand is far out-stripping supply and Pat says he could sell 4 times more if capacity was there to produce it. Euro-Toques chefs were hugely impressed by the quality and taste of Kilbeggan Porridge Oats, all of which Pat puts down to good stewardship of the soil, which is so essential to organic production. They also commended his innovation in bringing this traditional crop direct to market under his own farm brand.
Agri Business – Going Global
Pat Lalor’s Kilbeggan Organic Porridge is making a big impression on international markets…
Irish Country Magazine
Ella McSweeney talks about using Kilbeggan Oat’s for her flapjacks
A short video, produced by Teagasc, highlighting the success of six organic farmers in Ireland. Pat explains the rotation of crops on an organic farm and the importance of the soil.
Kilbeggan Organic Porridge was among the winners at the National Organic Awards 2012. Despite stiff competition, the Jumbo Oats product was named as the winner in the Best Organic Grocery category at the annual awards which are organised by Bord Bia.
The Director of the Food and Beverage Division of Bord Bia said:
“This product was described as a super product by the judges, the product has a creamy flavour and represents great value for money. They are well deserved winners in this category.”