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Job Vacancy – Administration

Ummera Smoked Products, a small but highly regarded producer of smoked salmon, smoked chicken & other products, has a vacancy for a part-time office administrator, 3 mornings per week.

Responsibilities will include general office duties, contacting customers, taking and making up orders to despatch stage, general accounting and data entry.

Experience in using Sage is desirable as is a knowledge of accounting practices. Must show a basic competency in website applications, social media and IT. The role also involves active participation in the preparation of our products for despatch.

A keen interest in artisan food is an advantage.

Please email with your CV and we will send you a more detailed job specification.

Ummera Smoked Products, Inchybridge, Timoleague Co. Cork  WND-86-6WN

Closing date for applications: Friday, February 7th, 2014

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Smoker Apprentice Wanted!

Ummera Smoked Products Ltd is looking to recruit a part time Smoker Apprentice to assist the existing small team at Ummera Smoked Product producing niche high quality, hand crafted smoked salmon, poultry and bacon. If you have a passion for quality food and want to help provide our customers with the very best, please email your CV today to

  • Position: Smoker Apprentice
  • Position Type: Part Time: 5 day flexible schedule 9am-1pm.
  • Hours are dependent on business demands with a minimum of 20 hours per week.
  • Location: Ummera Smokehouse,Timoleague, Co. Cork
  • Remuneration: Starting pay: basic hourly rate
  • Start Date: Immediate start

Responsibilities include:

  • Assisting the Smokehouse Manager in all aspects of the smoking operation
  • Hand filleting salmon
  • Pinboning, trimming and slicing smoked salmon.
  • Brining, smoking and packing other products, chicken, duck and bacon.
  • Filleting and marinading salmon for Gravadlax
  • Operating fish skinning and slicing machines
  • Setting-up and cleaning-down of skinning and slicing machines
  • Making up weighed packs of sliced salmon
  • Vacuum packing and sleeving sliced packs
  • Making up orders of finished product for dispatch
  • Cleaning of processing and storage areas
  • Disposal of fish offal to wormery
  • Tracking goods inward and through processing, and completing relevant paperwork
  • Assisting with stock-taking
  • General maintenance jobs (includes grass cutting when the weather is nice!!)
  • Completing all relevent HACCP and company documentation correctly and accurately and forwarding to the correct department
  • Moving of heavy goods/equipment in accordance with the companys Manual Handling policy
  • Any other additional duties as reasonably requested
  • Skills & Requirements:
  • Reliable and detail orientated
  • Hands-on and dependable
  • Ability to be flexible and communicate well with others
  • Commitment to the objectives of the Company
  • Food industry experience desirable
  • Must be able to speak and communicate in English
  • A knowledge of HACCP and Basic Food Hygiene is advantageous but full training will be given.

Ummera has one full time Manager, one part-time admin/office staff, two processing operators and additional staff at peak periods (ie Christmas). We are a very small family company and we all tend to lend a hand in whatever area when needed.

Please email with your CV.

Closing date for applications: 18th September 2015

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Eat only Irish Week

La Cucina in Limerick took up the challenge to provide an Only Irish menu for the month of May, and we are more than happy to find that Ummera’s products feature three times on their menu!


Here is the Antipasto Irlandese – spot the Smoked Duck!

Antipasto Irlandese
Antipasto Irlandese

and the Bruschetto Salmone

Bruschetta Salmone
Bruschetta Salmone

And finally the  Farfalle with Smoked Chicken

Farfalle with Smoked Chicken
Farfalle with Smoked Chicken

And that’s just Ummera’s contribution!

There’s Gubbeen’s salami, Yeats Irish Cream Cheese, Jim Cronin’s salads, St. Tola’s cheeses, T.J. Crowes pork, Murphy’s Ice Cream and Glenisk cream too!



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Change – seems to be the buzz word in Ireland!

It is with considerable embarrassment that I note the date on our last blog post was July 21st last year! We have, of course, sent out several newsletters since then, as well as many Tweets and some Facebook entries.

Perhaps the immediacy of Twitter and the directness of newsletters have taken away some of the urge to write regular blog posts, but even so, six months is a very big gap!

However, maybe changes here at Ummera will spur us on to be better bloggers! So to start us off, I asked the newest member of our team to put some words together by way of introducing herself:

Changes at Ummera…

From the beginning of January I have taken over where the very efficient Anat left off and am now at the Smokehouse at Ummera beside the Ardigeen River. Not a bad position from which to start your working day!

For our regular phone callers the change of voice will come as some surprise but I hope you will all bear with me as I endeavour to follow in my predecessor’s footsteps.

For those who love smoked food this is the place to be – I am learning something new on a daily basis……….Did you know you can smoke garlic, that the Costa Rican sugar used in the curing of our delicious Gravadlax is also great in coffee and that a delivery of our smoked eel to Hawaii takes less than 60 hours?

Next week I shall be at the Cork Food Forum at Inchydoney Lodge and Spa with Anthony and look forward to meeting up with some of our contacts there. In the meantime for sales or enquiries don’t hesitate to call us or email me directly at

I look forward to hearing from you,


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Ducks and Boats?

As part of the euphoria that is part of winning a Three Star Gold in the Great Taste Awards, we felt that we needed a small display sign to give to our wonderful retailers to help them let their customers know about our Smoked Silver Hill Duck. So a quick Skype call to Nevil Swinchatt, our graphic designer now based in Cornwall, with a simple request to produce something by lunchtime.

And he did!

So delighted were we with the image, that we thought we really should introduce Nevil to you because not only is he a very good graphic designer but he is also a painter! One of his clients is the famed yacht designer, Ron Holland, and here is one of Nevil’s paintings of the Thalia. Have a look at Nevil’s website, to see more of his work and to download a press release about his painting of Thalia.

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Gold! Gold! Gold!

We are really thrilled to report that we have been honoured with a Gold Award in this year’s Great Taste Awards in the UK for our Ummera Smoked Silver Hill Duck Breast.

Ummera Smoked Duck
And not just a Gold Award, but a Three Star Gold Award – can’t get much better than that!

With over 6,000 entries, only 91 products were awarded a 3 Star Gold Award.

We did an initial test smoke of duck breasts from Silver Hill Ducklings in Co. Monaghan, back in July last year. In November 2009 we tasted it with many  wine lovers who attended the Cork Wine Show, and such was the reaction that we knew we had something very special. Since then we have been smoking duck in partnership with Silver Hill Foods; whenever we have tasted it in public, be it the UK at Mortimer & Bennett in Turnham Green last January, Birmingham at the FoodExpo in March, or here in Ireland at various venues, the reaction has been the same: “Where can I buy it?” or  “Who stocks it?”.

And now our Ummera Smoked Silver Hill Duck has received the highest honour by getting this three star award at the Oscars of the Food World!

Receiving this Gold Award for our Smoked Duck,  now means that every single one of our products has received an award from the Guild of Fine Food!

Of course, Ummera wouldn’t have been able to win this award without our great team here, Anat, Andrzy, Jonathan and Marcin. Thanks to you all!

A list of retail stockists can be found here: Retail Outlets

Or you can order direct from our online shop.

Great Taste Awards 2010

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Euro-toques Ireland offer of help

We received the following email from Euro-toques Ireland yesterday and we urge all who are involved in the small-scale, artisan production, marketing and selling of food in Ireland,  to read and act on it. It’s quite lengthy, but very relevant. We can complain amongst ourselves about the nightmare of compliance, but here Euro-toques are helping us get our problems  into the right place and to get action:

Euro-toques is working on a very important project to defend small Irish food producers/farmers and further the cause of traditional/artisan/local/small-scale/real – whatever you want to call it – food production in this country. We need you to help us help you.

This is relevant to you if you are a small-scale food producer or farmer, abattoir, butcher, market trader, food seller etc and relates to any difficulties encountered in terms of food safety enforcement relating to premises, production methods/tools/materials, product, on-farm/on-site sales, farmers markets, retailing, packaging, labeling etc.

As some of you may be aware at our annual Food Awards last year, we proposed the establishment of an expert ‘Safety Net’ group for small producers in trouble in relation to Food Safety/Hygiene rules and enforcement. We are working in earnest to set this up and we hope to provide emergency support for producers as well as advocacy to advance recognition of safe traditional and artisan food production practices. This concerns not only secondary artisan products, but also importantly small-scale primary agricultural production.

Of course we, like all of you, recognise the importance of food safety. But we also recognise that practices that have been carried out in food production for generations are safe, and that hygiene requirements must be proportionate to the risk. Our main aim is, on behalf of producers, to identify the least expensive way of complying with legal requirements and to have these methods recognised by the authorities. We also want to work in general on promoting a food safety culture which is better disposed toward ‘non-industrial’ food production and to contribute to educating our food safety authorities and enforcement officers towards a better understanding of artisan/traditional/small-scale production.

In order to do this, we must build an overall picture of what is currently happening in Ireland, the problems being encountered, the solutions being offered etc. We must be in a position to highlight, factually, where food safety regulation has been applied in a way that is not necessary or proportionate to the food risks in question.

Some of your own experiences, or the experiences of other producers you know, will be invaluable to us in building this picture and in identifying legal arguments against some of the things that are happening in Ireland.

We have, of course, a huge body of anecdotal evidence about incidents which have occurred with the authorities; producers who have gone out of business or almost due to the imposition of immense and unrealistic compliance costs, produce and materials destroyed or confiscated, conflicting advice given etc etc. However, we need concrete facts and real cases so that we can tackle these issues properly with the authorities and hopefully work with them to find solutions.

In order to properly compile this research, we need to record the full details of the producer and the incidents for our own file. However, we will guarantee that all facts and cases will be used in an ANONYMOUS way and your details will be kept confidential, unless we obtain your prior agreement to use them.

If you have a case/incident which you believe is relevant, please let us know about it as soon as possible. Or forward this email to any producer you know of who has run into difficulty.

In informing us of the case, please follow the guidelines below insofar as you can and provide as much factual information as possible.

We would also welcome any feedback in terms of positive experiences or ways in which you managed to reach a satisfactory compromise with the authorities, which we may be able to take lessons from in the future.

You can email your responses to me in confidence at

We would ask that you send these to us as quickly as possible, as we need to gather this information urgently before our next meeting of the group and subsequent meeting with the FSAI. We have a legal expert on board who will work on relating your cases back to the relevant legislation and showing where EU law allows for flexibility in such cases etc.


We hope to get a comprehensive and timely response from producers to assist us on this very important project.

Sincere regards

Ruth Hegarty


Euro-toques Ireland

(on behalf of the Food Producer ‘Safety Net’ council members Myrtle Allen, Darina Allen, Evan Doyle, and Ruth Hegarty, in addition to our technical and legal experts).


Please follow these guidelines as much as you can and provide as many facts as possible. You do not need to send us any documentation, but you may if you feel it is particularly relevant. Otherwise, please just quote the name/reference for any legislation referred to in correspondence from the enforcement authority/officer.

We need to know the following detail:

1. Details of Producer What was the scale (output size) and nature of the business in question; i.e what was the product, where were inputs sourced from, what production processes were used, to whom (and how) is product sold.

2. The Problem – Please give an overview of the problem which was encountered (was it hygiene related, labelling, marketing standards, animal health, micro criteria testing etc)

3. Legal Issues – What legislation was used by regulators (DAFF officials, EHOs etc) to ground a complaint/warning/specific order/shut-down. This is important as it can assist us in identifying particular pieces of legislation which we hope to critique further.

4. Costs – what costs did the problem lead to, this can include the financial costs to the business in question (new equipment, buildings, transport etc), but also potentially costs to the actual quality of the product, the local nature of its production etc.

5. Suggested Alternative – how do you think the regulatory objective which the regulator was insisting upon can be met in a suitable and satisfactory way. How is the nature of the risk ‘over-inflated’ by the regulator given the particular circumstances at hand.

6. Interaction with Regulators – how was the interaction with the regulators in question, i.e. were they constructive, unhelpful, aggressive etc. How would you assess their understanding of food safety, food production and their attitude toward risk management.



Includes events, activities & policy info, applications, Member Search & much more…..

Please note our new email contact details and save them to your address book:

General info/enquiries:                     

Ruth Hegarty, Secretary-General:  

Carrie DeSoye, Office Administrator:


Ruth Hegarty


Euro-Toques Ireland – The European Community of Chefs & Cooks

11 Bridge Court, City Gate

St. Augustine Street

Dublin 8

Tel: 01-6779995   Fax: 01-6779977



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Cost of Compliance

We have just had another visit from our veterinary officer to make sure that we are compliant with the tomes of legislation that seems to grow and expand on a daily basis to ensure, apparently, that you, the consumer, do not suffer from any known or unknown disease, parasite or bacteria that might harbour in the deepest recesses of the sanitised smokehouse.

Consumers can sleep easy at night knowing that we, like all food processors, in Ireland are subjected to regular inspection by the Dept of Agriculture, the SFPA, the FSAI, Cork County Council etc etc.

Each time, one of these bodies want us to do something new; we get that sorted then they find something else for us to tick more boxes, get tested, buy new shoes, get temperature mapped, get thermometers calibrated, remove this, buy that and on it goes.  Is there some overpaid civil servant up there in Dublin and/or Brussels dreaming up new challenges to keep them and their merry team of inspectors in a job?

Headlines today:  “Rip-off Republic”.

Is it any wonder when the costs of compliance are so high?

Ten years ago we built our smokehouse here ouside Timoleague; for ten years we have been using the same smoking kiln. Why, after ten years of production, do they want us to spend serious money to get our kiln temperature mapped? Why didn’t they ask us to do it ten years ago? What information do they expect to glean from mapping it now? We know how it works, we know where the hot and cold spots are, we know how to control it; that’s our experience, that’s what we do.

Small producers are throttled by the inspectorate; good work has been done by the Artisan Forum with the FSAI, but there is still this No Risk mentality that permeates. Risk is part of our life. Remove all risk and perhaps the bureaucrats may be happy, but the rest of us won’t.

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Saving our Salmon

Last week the Irish Examiner published an article about the reopening of a wild salmon fishery in Castlemaine Harbour in North Kerry.

The next day the same paper had a furious editorial condemning the decision.

In Saturday’s edition, there were two letters published, one from Aidan Barry, CEO of the SWRFB and the other from John O’Donoghue T.D.

The news about the fishery reopening really is good and does truly reflect the benefits of the drift net ban in 2007.

What the writer of the editorial in the Examiner completely misses is the ability that the Fisheries Boards now have to manage stocks effectively. The indiscriminate nature of the drift net fishery has gone, and sound management of individual river systems is now being implemented.

The simple fact is that each river has the capacity to handle a certain amount of spawning salmon.  When that number of salmon has entered the system, then anything over that number is surplus and can be harvested. The Fisheries Boards have the knowledge, information and ability to ensure that only the surplus is harvested. The division of the surplus between anglers and nets-men will probably always be contentious but …..!

Over the last 30 years, the record of the Irish Government in looking after the wild salmon stocks was abysmal; however, since the scales were lifted from their eyes in 2007, they have listened and have acted upon the advice  from the scientific “body”  which government had been ignoring up to then.

We hope that you read the article, editorial and letters in the links above, and that you will be optimistic that Ireland is now doing its best to repair the damage of the last thirty years.

Perhaps one day, the Irish Smoked Wild Atlantic Salmon Presidium may once again take part in Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre.