Ireland is a world leader in beef & dairy farming, and is one of the world's most successful exporters of agricultural products especially meets and dairy produce.
Ireland has a large and diverse horticultural Industry, and here Agri Tours we can provide tours to cover a diverse range of horticultural enterprises, or specialise in on any one particular area that is of interest to your group.
From large mass producers of staple foods, to small niche production businesses, to the non-food horticultural enterprises, Ireland has a very large variety of plant growing businesses for your group to explore.
The climate has its part to play on horticultural activities here in Ireland, with temperate climates and the high rainfall levels being excellent for some crops, and other crops needing additional warmth of growing in poly tunnels/greenhouses. On your tour you can discuss with the horticultural business managers how they cope with the Irish climate and how that affects the viability of their businesses.
Touring Irish horticultural businesses can be part of a multidiscipline Agri tour, or we can arrange a fully specialised tour concentrating just on the horticultural industry.
The horticultural industry in Ireland is valued at over €400m. It is made up of fruit, vegetables and plants/flower bulbs/trees all of which you could get an expert insight into this industry on the horticulture tours. The Irish horticultural industry has two sectors: food and amenity horticulture. The most important crops are potatoes, fruit, mushrooms, field vegetables and protected crops all of which add up to the value of over €360m output value. The most important amenity horticulture crops are cut foliage, stock production, protected flowers/ornamentals, bulb and christmas trees.
The industry employs approximately 7,000 people in Ireland. On-site activities on the horticulture industry for these employees includes growing and harvesting of crops, packing for sale, quality control and meeting distributors/stakeholders. There's further employment generation down the sales funnel line and even before production. The employment ranges from landscape gardners to compost production to retailing in a garden centre.
The fresh produce market in Ireland is valued at a whopping €1.2bn year on year and gardening retail market a modest €631m. Commercial gardening and landscaping also featured on horticulture tours of Ireland is a sizeable chunk of this market. The Irish horticultural industry is interesting especially with the Food Wise 2025 initiative which targets growth of €100m in output in the industry. The idea is to market towards consumer trends and insights. These include consumers growing desire to buy local, heightening consumers consciousness of the healthy aspects of eating fresh produce, supplying time-constrained consumers with an alternative product that is convenient, efficient and healthy. Gardening is also growing in popularity which will see a boost in the demand for gardening activity and purchase of plants.
Below are some example crops you could focus on, though if there's a specific area that you would like to investigate please do let us know.
Mushrooms are the most important crop in Irish horticulture with a farm gate value of €136m. On the horticulture tours of Ireland you could gain insight into how a country the size of Ireland is self-sufficient in mushrooms, with only a small quantity of exotic mushrooms imported. Button mushrooms, flat/breakfast mushrooms and sliced mushrooms are all plentiful on the domestic market. In fact the bulk of mushrooms in Ireland are exported with 80% of production going to the UK. With great testament to Ireland, Irish mushrooms account for nearly half of the fresh mushroom market in the UK. Mushroom is a low margin product and there is severe price competition. On the horticulture tours see how in Ireland 60 growers are producing just under 70,000 tonnes. Phase 3 compost is sought after as it boosts yields and quality. Labour costs tend to be high as mushrooms are handpicked. In recent times training courses for the pickers have contributed monumentally to labour cost efficiencies leading to better work output as well as improved quality of the end product.
The potato industry in Ireland is declining in the domestic market. On the horticulture tours of Ireland we can arrange for you to see how a country once so heavily reliant on potatoes, are changing their eating habits and how Irish farmers are adapting to better promote the Irish potato. Irish consumers are increasingly choosing pasta and rice as their carbohydrate source of preference. Potatoes are considered to be a less convenient and flexible carb source. The traditional Irish dinner of a meat and two vegetables is facing a threat from other more continental meals. The current demographic structure in Ireland doesn't help matters with more than half of the population younger than 35 and nearly half of the population living in households of 2 or less. This has a strong influence on potato buying behaviour and this demographic tends to favour less bulkier items due to limited space and smaller households. On the horticulture tours from Agri Tours we can arrange for you to see three types of potatoes that make up the majority of the Irish potato market- Rooster, Kerr's Pinks and British Queens. Rooster are by far the most popular choice with Irish consumers. Especially in the catering sector the traditional potato is being replaced by mini potatoes. Heavy investment in the industry has resulted in new storage facilities so that high quality new potatoes are available year round.
The farm gate value of protected Irish crops is upwards of €70million. Protected crops you could learn about on the horticulture tours include strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, among others. Strawberries are the most important crop in this sector on the horticultural tour of Ireland and account for most output. Margins are limited by energy costs of technology and growing tunnels. Tomato production is worth a mention as it aims more towards a niche market as vine tomatoes and plum tomatoes.
There are approximately 230 companies in the non-food crops sector. Most of their produce is for the purpose of the domestic market although there are some exports of foliage, bulbs, flowers and hardy nursery stock. There is potential to increase both domestically and in the export market as may become evident as your horticulture tours progresses.
Agri Tours will take over from the minute you touch down into Ireland. We provide a inclusive private tour including transport, arranging all your farm visits, sightseeing attractions, accommodation, and we can provide as many meals as you would like included.
Every tour we provide is private just for your group, and tailored just to your needs.
If your group's agricultural connection is educational, business, or entirely personal, we can craft the ideal Irish farm tour itinerary to match.
Let us know your group's interests and we will design visits to match, from a highly specialised one-sector tour to a multi discipline tour encompassing the broad range of agricultural, horticultural and aquaculture enterprises in Ireland.
Purely farm visits, or perhaps a mixture along with some of Ireland's greatest cultural and sightseeing attractions. Maybe your group would like to get involved in the famous Irish culture and add experiences outside the farming industry as well.
Everything we produce is fully customised to your needs, so please don't hesitate to let us know your exacting requirements, we would be only too happy to produce an itinerary for your needs.
From students looking for budget friendly accommodation, to business leaders looking to enjoy some of Ireland's best accommodation, your whole tour will be customised to match your budget needs.
We can provide vehicles from private cars for groups of 2 up to 50 seater coaches, along with a full range of minibuses and small coach sizes in the middle.
The accommodation is tailored to the requirements of your party. we have access to the full range of of Islands accommodation, from hostels for young groups,B&Bs and homestays, 3*, 4* & 5* hotels to luxury manor houses and castles.
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Agri Tours Ireland is run by David O'Gorman, who has a BSc in Agriculture from University College Dublin. His previous positions included lecturing in horticulture and working for the government's agricultural advisory service.
You will not find a more knowledgeable or more dedicated team for Farm Tours in Ireland.
Having the right contacts in Ireland agricultural sector is key to providing the very best in Agro Tourism. We have been trading since 1989, and in all those years have built up the industries best range of contacts across every sector of the agricultural industry in Ireland.
No matter what your area of specialist interest we have unique access to businesses to provide the ideal visits. Let us quote your tour.
As part of the Discover Ireland tours group, we command unrivalled buying power with all the aspects of your tour giving you the very best in value. From budget friendly accommodation the students to five-star luxury, you will find our prices highly competitive at all market levels. Our ability to provide value in all the tours we do is one of the reasons we are the market leaders in agri-tourism.
Our team are here to give you perfect Irish tour experience. Every tour we produce is unique and fully customised to your group's needs. Our tour planning starts with a blank piece of paper and a chat with you, and I expect team will work with you to create the perfect itinerary.
We offer a whole range of farm tour types, from horticultural study tours for students to multi segment farm and sightseeing tours. All our tours are unique, fully customised to the needs of your group. Please take the information below just as a start point to help get your ideas flowing. When it comes to planning your tour we can provide any tour you would like, so please just get in touch and let us quote for your tour.
Your itinerary will be designed entirely around the needs and interests of your group.
We can arrange farm Tours of Ireland to cover a wide range of industrial segments. Do let us know the different disciplines that interest your group and we can suggest visits to cover the range of industries they would like to experience.
Our unrivalled range of agricultural contacts means we can provide highly specialist tours. If you would like your time in Ireland to focus entirely on one or a few segments, we can design an itinerary to give you the best insider experiences of Irish agricultural practices in your field.
Below is a list of some of our specialist areas, but it is by no means an exhaustive list so no matter what your specialism just get in touch to let us provide a quote for your tour.
We our highly experienced in providing tours for farm business leaders, who are coming to Ireland to meet and share ideas with Ireland's leading agri-businesses.
We can arrange visits some of Ireland's most cutting-edge farms, where you can discuss the latest techniques and how leading Irish farming businesses are taking farming into the 21st-century.
You can also see first-hand how downstream added-value is an integral part of the Irish agricultural industry and how such a small nation has become such a major player in world agricultural exports.
We offer agricultural study tours and educational tours across all of Ireland's farming sectors.
Ireland is a major agricultural exporter and its agricultural industry is one of the most innovative in the world. From yield levels to downstream increase in value to efficiency techniques, let us know your interest area and we will use our unique range of contacts to provide the most informative and educational visits for your group.
We can provide itineraries and accommodation that match both the needs and the budgets of university and student groups. Be it a multidiscipline tour, or an educational tour focused in on one particular sector, we can arrange everything for your educational tour in Ireland.
No visit to Ireland is complete without taking the opportunity to soak in the atmosphere of Irish City and Country life. With our years of experience we have honed our tours to ensure you see the best of real Ireland while you are here.
Amongst the Farms and Forests of Ireland, there are Ancient Stones and Crosses, Magnificent Castles and Monasteries; the sheep graze along mountain trails and the farmer enjoys live music and a pint in the local pub. Agri Tours are happy to provide these authentic Irish experiences while you visiting Irish Farms.
Just let us know the perfect balance for your tour and we will create a unique itinerary to match. Some groups would just like a few pointers for a great Irish pub to enjoy a drink at the end of the day, and other groups would like a much larger bias on the sightseeing aspects, spending a significant part of their time experiencing all of Ireland's magnificent history and culture.
As part of the Discover Ireland tours group, our knowledge extends far beyond the agricultural sectors of Ireland. So if you would also like to discover some of Ireland's history, experience its vibrant culture and get amongst its friendly people, we would be only too happy to incorporate these aspects into your Irish Tour.
Agri Tours is a founding member of Agricultural Tour Operators International (ATOI), the body that leads the way in setting standards for AgroTourism worldwide.More About Agricultural Tour Operators International (ATOI)
Agri Tours is part of the National Tour Association (NTA), one of the leading associations for tour operators across the globe.More About National Tour Association (NTA)
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