Irish beef and lamb are available on shelves in Singapore for the first time following Bord Bia promotional activity in the country.

The beef, supplied by ABP, and lamb, supplied by Irish Country Meats (ICM), can be bought by Singaporean consumers at premium food outlet, Ryan’s Grocery.

The move represents the first retail listing for Irish sheepmeat in the Singaporean market. However, Irish sheepmeat gained access in 2012 with 273t exported last year to Singapore, valued at over €838,000. It’s understood this was largely to restaurant and hotel customers.

Access expanded

Ireland gained access for beef to Singapore in 2011, with access expanded in 2017 to include bone-in beef and boneless beef from cattle of all ages. Irish beef has a growing presence in top-tier hotels and restaurants in Singapore, with 400t of beef and beef offal worth €1.8m exported to the country last year alone.

The Irish beef is currently available in the e-commerce channel with online retailer Lazada. However, the move at Ryan’s Grocery is the first in-person retail listing.

The promotion for Irish beef on sale in Singapore.

Ryan’s Grocery will initially stock Irish beef and lamb at their two locations in Singapore. The grocery is the retail face of Alternative Selection, a Singapore-based wholesaler founded by husband-and-wife team Sebastian Chia and Wendy Foo, which specialises in allergen and preservative-free speciality foods including grass-fed and organic meats. The Irish beef and lamb will not be sold as organic.

Further distribution

The introduction of Irish beef and lamb at Ryan’s Grocery during Bord Bia’s trade mission to Singapore is the first phase of a two-phase rollout through its distribution arm, Alternative Selection, which will create a direct supply route to Singapore’s top restaurants.

Alternative Selection already carries a range of Irish brands including Glenisk, Ballymaloe and Burren Smokehouse, and will now also stock Burren Smokehouse organic salmon and Glenisk organic yoghurt in Ryan’s Grocery.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue is leading the trade mission to southeast Asia this week. Speaking at the launch of Irish beef and lamb on retail shelves, he said: “I’m pleased to announce this listing with Ryan’s Grocery as Irish beef and lamb continues to find new routes to market around the world.

“It’s a testament to Irish farmers that the discerning team at Ryan’s Grocery has chosen Irish beef and lamb to add to their premium portfolio of certified supplier farms.

“I also acknowledge the great work of Bord Bia in establishing and maintaining valuable commercial relationships with key stakeholders in the region. It is also wonderful to see that quality Irish organic foods are finding new and exciting markets.”

Gateway market

Bord Bia’s interim CEO Michael Murphy said that “while the [Singaporean] market is small in value and volume terms” at €36m in 2021, “as an influential gateway market to the entire region, increasing the visibility of Irish meat on shelves is an important step forward for Irish beef exports”.

“Singapore tends to lead on food trends which then spread to the wider southeast Asian region. Irish beef and lamb now has pride of place in this super premium retailer, giving a significant boost to the credentials of Irish beef and lamb in the wider region.”

Bord Bia’s southeast Asia director Ciaran Gallagher said: “Working in tandem with Irish suppliers, Bord Bia has developed a strong relationship with the team at Alternative Selection, driven by our understanding of their sourcing needs.

“Co-founders, Sebastian and Wendy, have a preference for produce with environmental sustainability credentials and a unique provenance story, making Origin Green verified Irish beef and lamb, predominantly grass fed and sourced from family farms, an ideal fit for their discerning sourcing needs.”

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