Kettyle Irish Foods, which is well-known for its award-winning Fermanagh dry-aged beef and bacon, has developed an innovative seaweed-cured, dry-cure bacon after being approached by Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn and asked to supply sustainably produced bacon from outdoor-bred pigs. The distinctive bacon will be marketed under ‘Excellence range’ in a deal which Kettyle estimates to be worth around £1.2m a year.
Maurice Kettyle said: “It’s an extremely exciting development that gives us an important platform for further growth with the chain in the Netherlands and will encourage us to explore opportunities in other European markets.”
He said there was a growing appetite among leading European retailers for sustainability, with retailers increasingly demanding that suppliers show solid evidence of a commitment to sustainability and that Kettyle’s had been quick to recognise the developing trend in the Netherlands for foods which combine taste and sustainability.
He said: “We’ve been operating in this influential European market for many years and this has enabled us to keep abreast of trends.
“Our parent company, Linden Foods in Dungannon, has been supplying beef to supermarkets and foodservice organisations there and has also been conscious of the move towards greater evidence of sustainability that includes good standards of animal welfare.”
Leading Dutch retailer Albert Heijn has over 850 stores from local grocery store formats to larger supermarket and convenience stores. It is owned by parent company Ahold.