Ahead of the Certified Irish Angus schools final taking place on Friday 1 March, 28 pupils and their teachers took off for Belgium last week.

The four-day trip was part of a skills development experience for the finalists in the 2023 competition, which is organised by the Certified Irish Angus producer group, ABP and Kepak.

The tour began in Dublin with a visit to Tesco Ireland. The students then travelled across town to the Bord Bia headquarters to learn about the sale and promotion of Irish Angus beef.

Next on the list was Teagasc Grange, before the group moved on to what is one of the highest regarded centres for breeding Angus cattle and thoroughbred horses, Gigginstown House Stud and Farm.


It was then time to fly to Belgium, where the pupils stayed at the Irish College, Leuven.

The students made presentations in the European Parliament to Irish political and farming representatives about the projects they are working on as part of the final phase of the competition.

On the final day, the pupils headed to Bruges, where they visited Ter Groene Poorte School, which is a training institute for nutrition-oriented studies.

The school offers training for butchers, bakeries, large kitchens and restaurants studies for pupils that would be a similar age to the Irish students.

The future of food

One of the highlights of the Certified Irish Angus schools competition for the students is the annual study trip, according to Certified Irish Angus producer group general manager Charles Smith.

“It provides them with the opportunity to meet some of the leaders in Irish and European agriculture and we are very grateful to people like Michael O’Leary, the Irish MEPs and our supplier partners who make time to interact with these students who are going to be the future of Irish agriculture.”

He continued: “The trip also takes the students full circle, from their own experience rearing the calves as part of the competition to the marketing of a premium product on a global scale.

"At Tesco Ireland they will learn about what it takes for a product to become one of the exclusive Tesco Finest brands and the importance of provenance and consistency of quality for the retailer.”

Read more

Irish Angus Schools Competition finalists receive calves at Ploughing

Young Stock Podcast: bringing the first farm walk and talk to Co Donegal