EU and Bord Bia co-fund organic beef and lamb campaign
Bord Bia is leading a campaign to promote organic European beef and lamb over the next three years
Funding of €2.2m towards the Bord Bia-led EU organic campaign has been granted by the European Commission, with this amount being topped up by €0.5m by Bord Bia. Ireland’s Minister of State for Land use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett, said this co-funding sees a ‘record spend of €2.7m go towards marketing organic product’ over the next three years in Austria, Belgium, Germany and Sweden. The objectives of the campaign, which commences in spring 2024, are to increase awareness of the positive environmental, sustainability and animal-welfare attributes of pasture-fed organic beef and sheepmeat.
The Commission also awarded funding to Bord Bia for a separate campaign worth €3m aimed at promoting European mushrooms across the UK.
The combined value of these two campaigns is €5.7m over three years, comprising €3.96m in EU funding and €1.73m from Bord Bia, and industry funding.
Organic meat markets
Germany is currently Ireland’s largest market for both organic beef and lamb, while Belgium is the second largest market for organic Irish lamb. According to Bord Bia research, Sweden and Austria both have strong consumer demand for organic produce coupled with a reliance on imports.
Bord Bia chief executive, Jim O’Toole, said: “This is the first EU co-funded campaign for organic beef and lamb and comes at a pivotal time for the sector, as we look to increase market demand in key markets.
“Nearly two thirds of Irish organic beef is destined for export markets, while half of organic lamb is currently sold overseas. This new funding will ensure we can support the development of four export markets for organic beef and lamb, identified by Bord Bia as having the greatest growth potential.
“Due to the Irish mushroom sector’s reliance on the UK – owing to the short shelf life of the product – it is exposed to trade fluctuations in the market. The campaign, therefore, aims to bolster demand by encouraging greater consumption of mushrooms among UK consumers through a range of consumer marketing activity.” The domestic market is the most important market for organic horticulture, dairy and eggs, he said, adding that Bord Bia has recently invested in a €1m organic campaign in Ireland.
Minister Hackett said that Ireland has participated in trade missions and organic trade fairs in Europe and the feedback about the opportunities for Irish organic beef and lamb in the EU market are positive. “The supports will help to drive the growth in the sector and benefit Irish organic farmers, our soil, our environment and the growing numbers of organic consumers.”
World's largest organic trade fair
A number of Irish companies are exhibiting at Biofach 2024, the world's largest trade fair for organic food and agriculture. This year, it is expected to attract more than 2,500 exhibitors involved in the organic food industry. Representing Ireland, with Bord Bia, are: Good Herdsman, Ireland’s largest organic beef processor; Irish Country Meats, one of Europe's leading lamb processors; King of Kefir, which built Ireland and Europe's first dedicated water kefir brewery; Glenisk, which produces organic, high-protein, no-added-sugar yogurts; Connemara Seafoods, which processes a diverse range of premium shellfish including mussels, crab and razor clams; the Little Milk Company, a co-operative of organic dairy farmers; and Irish Seaspray, which produces organic salmon.