Norma and Tom Dineen, Bo Rua Farm, accepting their Rising Star award in November 2019 at the Farmer of the Year Awards, from Ursula Gormley (right).

There was some good news for local business this week, as Bó Rua Farm in Ballyknock, Ballynoe, Fermoy revealed that its award winning cheddar is set to be stocked on the shelves of supermarket chain Aldi, from 31 May.

The announcement is sure to be welcomed, following what has been a difficult period for the North Cork dairy farm, and the cheese industry more generally.

In April, Tom Dineen, who runs Bó Rua farm with his wife Norma, spoke to The Avondhu and confirmed that their company had seen a drop in sales of almost 75% due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Speaking at the time, Mr Dineen said: “Since around 10 March, things for the industry have just come to a stop. It’s as if we went off the edge of a cliff.”

At that time, the sharp downturn in the fortunes of cheesemakers was linked to the immediate drop in demand from restaurants and the hospitality industry.

With the lockdown in full force, these outlets no longer needed the produce of farms like Bó Rua.


However, in the intervening weeks, Tom and Norma Dineen have worked to find new venues to sell their cheeses.

From the end of May, customers will be able to pick up the product in the multinational’s stores throughout Ireland, for a limited two week period.

In a statement, Bó Rua noted: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact for the Dinneen family of Bó Rua Farm. With the loss of its food service orders, this helping hand from the Aldi team to support local businesses has been a lifeline for Bó Rua Farm.”

The move to stock Bó Rua’s produce is part of the stores’ ongoing ‘Grow with Aldi’ programme.