October 13, 2011
Irish beef firms strive to double exports to German market
Irish beef processing companies have started a huge marketing campaign at Anuga, the world's largest food fair, in their efforts to double Irish beef exports to Germany by 2015.
Prior to the BSE crisis of the 1990s, Ireland had been selling 20,000 tonnes of beef to German consumers, but that was dramatically cut back and has now started to recover, according to Liam McHale, manager of Bord Bia in Germany.
Last year, Ireland exported 9,600 tonnes of beef here worth EUR45.3 million (US$62.5 million) and he gave figures to show the value of Irish beef exports had risen by 159% in the first five months of this year, and he expected Irish companies would export 15,000 tonnes of beef for the German market by year-end.
The promotional campaign, aimed at trade buyers and consumers, he said, sought to build awareness of Irish beef from 10% to 50% and by 2015, to be selling 30,000 tonnes of Irish beef here worth EUR150 million (US$207 million), he told an audience that included the Irish Ambassador to Germany, Dan Mulhall.
Aidan Cotter, Bord Bia chief executive, said the initiative followed comprehensive consumer research in the German market and a highly encouraging performance by industry in expanding sales over the last 12 months. "Four of the top five German retail groups, as well as leading steakhouses, now stock Irish beef, providing a major platform to further develop and widen, through targeted consumer promotion, its penetration of both the high-end retail and food service market," he said.
The newly appointed chairman of Bord Bia, Michael Carey, said the campaign marked a new phase in the continued repositioning of Irish beef in the European marketplace, which accounts for 98% of Ireland's total exports.
Ireland's top meat exporting companies were all here at the Anuga fair, which attracts over 6,700 exhibitors from 95 countries and this year, 164,000 trade visitors from 174 countries are attending. In the special food hall dedicated to beef sales were Ashbourne Meats, Dawn Farm Foods, Dawn International, Dawn Pork Bacon, Dawn Meats, Irish Country Meats, the Kepak Group, Agra Trading, Kildare Chilling, Liffey Meats, QK Meats Ltd, Rosderra Irish Meats, Silver Hill Foods, Slaney Foods International, Abbeyfield Foods Ltd, AIBP and Food-Bridge Ltd.
The Irish Dairy Board and four farmhouse cheese companies - Cooleeney Farm, Cahill's Farm Cheese, Knockdrinna Farm House Cheese and JOD Food Products - took part in the dairy exhibition at the fair.
In the drinks hall, First Ireland Spirits represented Ireland.