Bord Bia is hoping to gain access to the high-end food services in America, with good demand for racks, loins and legs, Seamus McMenamin of Bord Bia has said.

The sheepmeat and livestock sector manager with Bord Bia spoke to the Irish Farmers Journal at Sheep 2023 in Gurteen College, Co Tipperary, on Saturday.

He explained that “sheep prices are on the way up, the live export market has increased demand and taken sheep out of the market increased competition for the processors, Eid al-Adha is driving the demand”.

McMenamin said that there is a strong demand for ram lambs, in particular for the Muslim festival at the end of the month.

“The lamb kill this year to date is about 20% behind other years. This could be due to [fewer] lambs scanning weaker, [fewer] people lambing earlier and possibly the drought has left lambs being killed a couple of weeks later.

“I suspect that there are a lot of lambs on the ground that are close to finishing. I would encourage people at the minute to keep lambs going," he said.


“We are going into a challenging market in Europe. UK prices have fallen in the last few weeks. They are expecting to export 15% more this year, so they are a big competitor.

"Market access discussions are ongoing. The talks with China are also ongoing and access has been granted in the US - it's just about going over the technical aspects," McMenamin said.

“Bord Bia [is] hoping to gain access to the high-end food services, with good demand for racks, lions and legs in America.

“Our main focus is Europe - 85% of everything we export ends up in Europe. Our European customers are looking for sustainable options and we have the quality assurance scheme that can prove that," he said.