While Wexford is known country wide for their strawberries, it is the lesser known blackcurrant that is making waves in the food world these days. This is in part due to Ireland’s only remaining Blackcurrant Farm, Ballykelly Farm in Co. Wexford. Owned and run by Des Jeffares, his company, Mr Jeffares Blackcurrants, just last year launched two wholly unique products to Ireland, Mr Jeffares Irish Blackcurrant Cordial and Individually Quick Frozen Irish Blackcurrants.
Mr Jeffares Blackcurrants is the culmination of 60 years of growing in Wexford and three generations of Blackcurrant Farmers, resulting in a professional knowledge and an inherent intuition when growing these powerful Irish Super Fruits.
Mr Jeffares Irish Blackcurrant Cordial is Ireland’s only cold pressed pure Blackcurrant juice with no added sugar and made from fruit from their own farm. Almost three quarters of a kilo of Blackcurrants go into every bottle and can be traced back to the actual field they were grown in. The 100% goodness and health benefits of these dark purple fruits makes Blackcurrants the Number 1 fruit and vegetable for the highest Vitamin C content, with research also proving assistance for memory loss and blood circulation as well as boosting sports performance and aiding muscle recovery.
Des Jeffares says, “It’s the quality and purity of the ingredient that excites me every day, and now I have the opportunity to put my blackcurrants in a bottle. We were the first fruit farm in Ireland to achieve Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability certification". Through his work and developing his company, Des is ensuring that the blackcurrant industry, a once very prominent endeavour that has waned in recent years, continues to develop within Ireland.
Since the launch of Mr Jeffares Irish Blackcurrant Cordial in April 2015, Mr Jeffares Blackcurrants have been proud members of the Food Academy in conjunction with Bord Bia. The programme has been of enormous benefit to Des, as “it has acted as a major platform into the Irish Food Market.” The food academy mentoring sessions and seminars “have inspired ideas and new pathways in our business development.” Moreover, Food Academy has given the business the opportunity to develop and build connections with other food producers. Overall, the response has been overwhelmingly positive in regards to SuperValu, with Mr Jeffares Irish Blackcurrant Cordial now being stocked in over 100 stores nationwide.