Foyle Group beef back on US shelves for St Patrick's Day
A Northern Irish meat company has shipped its first order of beef to the US since the 15-year export ban was lifted - just in time for St Patrick's Day.
Foyle Food Group transferred the meat from its Donegal production site yesterday and the shipment is due to touch down at JFK airport in New York today.
The food group is one of only two beef producers in the whole of Europe to have been approved for export of beef to the United States, following the lifting of the 15-year ban which was imposed during the BSE crisis in the late 1990s.
Foyle Food Group and the Irish-led Amboy Group, a New Jersey-based food management services company, said they are responding to the significant market interest generated by the recent launch of Irish beef in New York, Washington DC and Boston by Irish Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney.
The Amboy Group is an importer of premium food products into the US for distribution to major retailers, such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Wegman's, ShopRite, Loblaw's, Kroger, Costco and others, as well as food service companies, restaurants and hotels throughout North America.
Foyle Food Group has been working closely with a number of customers in the US, where there is evidence of a big demand for high quality grass-fed Irish beef.
Michael Acheson, business development manager for Foyle Food Group, said: "We are delighted to be delivering our first shipment to the States, just in time for St Patrick's Day.
"All of Foyle Food Group's beef is reared to the exacting quality standards of our beef industry.
"Every animal supplied to Foyle, regardless of breed, is now DNA-tested and traceable from field to fork.
"It adds an irrefutable layer of testing and protection for our customers and consumers and in turn gives them a high quality product they know they can trust completely."
The Amboy Group is working with Foyle Food Group and other Irish beef producers to create a strong presence for premium Irish beef brands in the US market. Bill Colbert of the Amboy Group said: "Grass-fed Irish beef is a premium product with a substantial market opportunity in the US, where the demand for grass-fed beef is growing rapidly.
"The unique taste, quality and nutritional attributes of Irish beef, coupled with the highest standards of sustainability and animal welfare are an exciting new offering to our customers in the US."