Brendan and his son Cillian run Staffords butchers.
Stafford’s butchers was founded by Brendan Stafford in 1971. In 1961, aged 16 Brendan started in the butcher business - ‘I started my trade in Moore Street before moving to Wexford’.
Brendan set up his business in Enniscorthy and has always promoted traditional breeds of cattle Hereford & Angus. “For good quality beef you need the traditional breeds of cows, the bit of fat on these cattle gives the meat the perfect flavour.
We find meat is lacking in flavour in the big continental animals, so we go for the young traditional cattle which have a lot of flavour. Our customers would tell us that they notice a huge difference in our meat compared to others.
My son Cillian is now in control of the business, I am doing the farming and producing quality beef which we supply to all our customers.
The animals on the farm are a mixture of Hereford & Angus cattle. Heifer beef is more tender and it’s a sweeter beef so this is why we only breed heifers. We definitely believe in quality over quantity, we could breed a bigger amount of cattle but we only keep the best. During the summer months we would have more cattle probably around 100.
‘We’re 3 miles away from Monart so we are as local as can be.’
Does the weather have a huge impact on your animals?
Yes, weather has a huge impact on farming in general. The better weather improves the quality of your grass which makes it easier to finish cattle but if you go through a wet time, cattle won’t strive as well. We leave cattle out for roughly about 9 months of the year. We feed them our own blend of feed and our own silage when they are inside. The kinder the weather the better, if the weather isn’t great during the summer it disrupts the whole year, we won’t have as good silage or grass and therefore the cattle won’t be fed as well as they should be.
We have a shop in Enniscorthy town, we have had to change and adapt but it’s going very well at the moment. We have 5 working for us all together. We have been here for 30 years. We stock all of our own beef, we stock local lamb, our pork & chicken is sourced from Waterford and we specialise in gluten free and dry cured bacon.
We pride ourselves on top quality produce, we have always maintained keeping the best quality of meat because if you cut the quality of your meat you’re just the same as everyone else, you need to stand out from the crowd. Gluten free is becoming a big part of the market as more and more people realise that they are gluten intolerant. To cater to everyones needs we have brought in a range of gluten free meats such as burgers, sausages, bbq products & stuffing.
‘Quality is key!’
Cillian, what are the biggest changes you have seen with farming over the last few years?
I would say the biggest change I have seen in livestock farming is the production of good grass. We re-seed the fields once every 10 years now.
It is very important for people to shop local and provide a good range of local foods to their community. We are very lucky that the furthest product we buy is in Co. Waterford. Myself and my dad Brendan find this very important to support local. If you don’t look after your local food and local environment it won’t be there.
We have been supplying to Monart for 10 years, we have been there from day one.
We have been farming in this field for the last 20 years.
‘Monart is one of the most wonderful places to go for a meal, the food and the ambience are beautiful and we are delighted to be able to supply to prestigious Monart’ says Brendan.