Bord Bia backs live cattle exports
A substantial Turkish meat and livestock business, with capacity for 40,000 feeding cattle, travelled to Ireland on a Bord Bia-led itinerary: visiting exporters and farms. It is anticipated that Turkish companies will soon be permitted to import animals themselves, outside of the government-owned Meat and Milk Board, ESK. Initial demand is expected to focus on continental heifers weighing up to 400kg.
Bord Bia recently met one of the largest cattle buyers in Algeria, and visited the port of Sète in France, where they were assembling two boatloads of French cattle. The Algerian market reopened for Irish livestock in late 2016, following a successful trade mission to the north African region. Annual imports average approximately 60,000 head, and potential customers have expressed a strong appetite for Irish animals: both young bulls for finishing and dairy breeding stock.
Calf exports are now gaining momentum, following a slightly later start to the calving season. Up to mid-February, some 1,400 animals had been exported to Spain and just 330 to the Netherlands: Ireland’s two principal calf markets. In 2016, these markets accounted for 44,000 head and 27,000 head, respectively, of Irish exports. Bord Bia’s discussions with trade buyers suggest that demand and prices are slightly ahead of last year’s levels. Bord Bia advertisements in a popular Dutch publication De Kalverhouder are currently highlighting the health and quality attributes of Irish calves to veal producers.
As part of the ongoing Irish beef campaign in the German market, the Block House restaurant chain is currently running a major promotion in its 38 restaurants across Germany from 17 February until the 5 March, supported by Bord Bia. This promotion includes a competition whereby diners can win a trip for two to Ireland.
As well as its German presence, Block House also has 10 restaurants across Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. Block House differentiates itself through its high-quality beef offer from around the world, which increasingly features Irish steaks.
Irish beef continues to perform strongly in this important premium market, with exports of over 23,000t in 2016, valued at €142m. This represents a 5% growth in value compared with the previous year, with German demand focusing on higher-value steak and round cuts.
The premium positioning of Irish beef in Germany is underlined by Bord Bia marketing activity, which incorporates comprehensive media, online and in-store promotion, exhibiting at various trade and consumer events.
Bord Bia will launch its new promotional campaign for Irish beef in Germany in April 2017 focusing on the product’s unique credentials in terms of grass-based, extensive farming and sustainability. The comprehensive programme, based on insights from consumer analysis undertaken by Bord Bia in the German market, will be implemented over the next five years. Ireland’s Origin Green programme will play a pivotal role in reaching higher-income German beef consumers interested in sustainability, animal welfare and environmental issues.
Bord Bia recently held a recipe competition for secondary school students studying Home Economics at Leaving and Junior Certificate level.
The objectives of the competition were to increase students’ awareness of the benefits of buying pork and bacon with the Bord Bia Quality mark, the range of pork and bacon products available and how to cook them.
Students were asked to submit their own recipe for Quality Assured Irish pork or bacon and explain why it is important to select products carrying the Quality mark. A total of 333 individual entries were received from 64 schools across 23 counties. The winning students will receive a cookery lesson by food blogger and cookbook author Roz Purcell.
Eimear Dunphy from Presentation Secondary School, Thurles, Co Tipperary, won the senior category with her recipe for pork falafels, which she served with Toonsbridge feta, avocado and bulgur salad, tzatziki, beetroot hummus and toasted melba pitta bread.
Bord Bia and its Italian Chefs’ Irish Beef Club recently teamed up with Electrolux, to showcase the sustainability of top-class Irish organic beef and lamb, alongside the electrical company’s award-winning, low-emissions appliances.
Irish organic beef and lamb were the highlight of a demonstration of culinary excellence, presented to a group of 20 journalists and food bloggers in the prestigious Electrolux headquarters in Pordenone, Italy. Bord Bia was joined at the media event by Good Herdsmen, ABP Food Group and Cattel Catering: an Italian food service distributor, to support growing exports of Irish organic products.
Alberto Canton, a new member of the Chefs’ Irish Beef Club, prepared an outstanding menu featuring the organic beef and lamb.
Italy is one of Europe’s largest organic markets, with total sales valued at €2.5bn in 2016, according to Euromonitor. There are now over 2,250 organic food and beverage products, 19m Italian organic food consumers and the number of restaurants serving organic food has increased by 69% in the last five years.
Italy is Ireland’s fourth largest beef export market overall, valued at €173m in 2016, as well as our eighth largest market for sheepmeat with exports of over €7m. Bord Bia’s manager in Milan, Nicolas Ranninger, also believes Italy is a perfect fit for premium Irish organic beef and lamb.
“The key objective of this event was to present Irish organic beef and lamb to one of our largest, most enduring markets which has a growing appetite for organic products. Our focus was to explain that Irish organic meat comes from prime animals, carefully selected for their quality characteristics and reared extensively on a grass-based diet,’’ he said.
Bord Bia has introduced a new photography competition in conjunction with Macra na Feirme, which seeks to raise awareness about the natural beauty and sustainable practices of Irish farms.
Farm families have the chance to win a €200 gift voucher each month throughout 2017, with the overall winner at the end of the year receiving €1,000.
Competition entries can be made instantly on Twitter using the tag and hashtags: @MacraNaFeirme #OriginGreen #ItStartsHere
Alternatively, photos can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line ‘‘Photo competition, Origin Green It Starts Here’’.
Rules of the competition can be found on www.macra.ie/origingreen
Entrants do not need to be Macra an Feirme members.