As part of a major beef campaign by Irish food organisation Bord Bía, Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited executives at German supermarkets, foodservice companies and a chef, with Ireland keen to grow trade.
Bord Bía wants to increase Irish beef exports to Germany to 30,000 tonnes (t) by 2018.
Last year, Ireland exported 23,000t of beef to Germany, a doubling of trade volume since 2012.
With uncertainty over trade rules after Britain exits the European Union , the Irish government has “intensified efforts” to promote agricultural produce abroad. And this may be a manoeuvre to capitalise on any loss in trade the UK sees with the EU if it is forced to adopt costly World Trade Organization (WTO) tariffs.
For Ireland’s beef industry, Germany is a key premium market and Bord Bía research has indicated German shoppers seek more information on provenance and traceability – something Ireland feels it can deliver.
“Bord Bía’s new Irish beef campaign focuses on communicating our food industry’s world-leading sustainability credentials to German consumers at every level,” said Kenny in a press statement.
“Since the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the government has intensified efforts to promote Irish produce in key markets such as Germany, as well as working hard to support Irish exporters’ access new markets around the world.”
During Kenny’s visit, he met the CEOs of retailer Real Hypermarket and foodservice firms Block Foods and Niggemann Food Frischemarkt, as well as Irish Beef Club chef Patrick Bittner.
He also officially launched Bord Bía’s Irish Beef Truck, which will carry the country’s beef message to Germany at trade events in partnership with red meat, seafood and dairy importer Frische Paradies.
Kenny called the beef truck an “exciting way of bringing the new beef campaign to German consumers”. He added the government has “increased supports” to strengthen Ireland’s efforts to be a key meat supplier in Europe.
Germany is top of the list and, since 2012, export value has increased by more than 50% to €142m last year.