After a tumultuous year, Irish food and drink exports to the UK are on the up. Donal Denvir, UK Manager at Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board), writes about how the Origin Green programme and Brexit preparation have helped to maintain this upward trajectory
Ireland at SIAL 2022
This year, Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, will host 14 Irish food and beverage companies on its Origin Green Stand, in two halls: The Dairy Hall, stand number: 7A109, and the Meat Hall: stand number: 6J214
Article appeared in issue 6, 2022
Founded in 1954, the ABP Food Group, headquartered in Co. Louth, processes, debones and retail packs award-winning beef and lamb at nine plants, strategically located throughout Ireland. The company has a long and proud tradition of working with farmers and customers in supplying quality beef and lamb for worldwide markets. It supplies major retailers, foodservice clients, manufacturers, and wholesale distributors across four continents. The company offers a range of premium branded products such as Irish Nature, Irish Country Lamb, Irish Hereford Prime, Certified Irish Angus and a comprehensive range of organic beef under the Good Herdsman brand. ABP beef and lamb is reared on a natural, grass-based diet and carefully matured. ABP beef is produced under the same unique patented ultra-tender process, as it has been for the last 40 years. Sustainability, animal welfare, farm assurance and food safety ensure the highest standard of product integrity across all facilities. ABP is a founding and gold member of Origin Green and is currently triple-certified by the Carbon Trust.
Ashbourne Meat is a privately-owned company that supplies high quality beef to domestic and worldwide markets. It operates its own slaughterhouse, cutting plants and modern processing facilities in Ireland, under the strictest quality control and management supervision. Ashbourne Meat Processors holds higher level European Food Safety Inspection Service (EFSIS)-approved ISO 9001 status. It also has modern processing and cold store facilities. The company offers full traceability, from farm to fork, and is a member of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme. This is coupled with a commitment to service, which it believes gives it an edge in a competitive marketplace. Annually, Ireland produces close to 500,000 tonnes of beef, with 450,000 tonnes exported across the globe. Ashbourne Meats operates modern processing, storage, and handling facilities. Traditional methods of husbandry, Ireland’s mild climate, fine grasses, and expert processing, as well as a strong focus on quality, mean you can taste the difference in products from Ashbourne Meat. The company's sales team has built trusted and lasting partnerships with distributors in Europe and beyond. Ashbourne Meat is committed to sustainability and is a verified member of Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme.
The Carbery Group is an international ingredients and flavours company, headquartered in West Cork, Ireland. Established as an Irish dairy co-operative in 1965, and owned wholly by its 1,200 farmer shareholders, in 2021 Carbery had revenue of over €535m and more than 900 employees, across eight countries. Carbery operates across three business platforms: Dairy, Taste and Nutrition. From Ireland, Carbery supplies grass-fed, sustainable cheese and dairy ingredients to consumers across the globe, sourced from 1,200 local, family-owned dairy farms. The company has built multidisciplinary innovation teams, focused on cheese innovation, advancing protein research and flavour technologies. Carbery Dairy holds an innovative portfolio of Irish, grass-fed cheese including cheddar cheese (mild, medium, mature and vintage), the cheese extra range (10+, 14+ and 22+), inclusion cheese, mozzarella and Italian style cheese. Carbery sells to retail, industrial and food service channels globally. Carbery’s nutrition business pioneers, manufactures and markets a comprehensive range of advanced whey proteins for infant, sport, clinical nutrition, and mainstream food and beverage markets. Hydrolysed proteins and advanced whey protein ingredients are an integral part of Carbery’s portfolio. Carbery’s Taste division, Synergy Flavours, continues to lead the way in taste, blending art and science to create an array of flavour and taste sensations. Synergy’s offerings include extracts and essences, flavours and dairy taste solutions. Sustainability is at the heart of the Carbery business, ensuring that relationships between the company, the environment, and the communities in which it operates are mutually beneficial and respectful. Carbery is a Gold Member of Origin Green, Ireland’s food and drink sustainability programme, operated by Bord Bia. Its sustainability project, Farm Zero C, is pioneering a model for a climate neutral dairy farm.
Dairy Concepts IRL
Dairy Concepts IRL has become a leading innovator in the global dairy snacks market by combining its entrepreneurial vision with Ireland’s scientific talent, quality dairy ingredients, global reputation and sustainable competitive advantage in dairy. The company is focused on the innovative development of all-natural, handheld dairy snacks for the global market. Its latest product, CheeseO’s, is a range of great-tasting casual snacks that are high in protein and calcium, suitable for vegetarians and gluten free. The best of Irish cheese has been gently cooked and seasoned to create deliciously crunchy, puffed cheese bites that don’t need to be refrigerated. Sold in individual 25g portions, CheeseO’s is available in a range of flavours such as: salt & vinegar, cheese & onion, cheddar, sour cream & onion, sweet chilli, and cheddar & pickled onion. Each has nearly 10g of protein in every pack. CheeseO’s will soon be available in both German and French packaging, and it’s hoped will attract the attention of other leading European retailers. Also available at SIAL, made by Dairy Concepts, and already on sale in Ireland and France, is the Tapufin milk bar. This is a refrigerated, hand-held 18g snack, targeted at young children. Its solid format provides an easy-open, no-mess alternative to yoghurt and is perfect for a lunchbox. Available in strawberry and chocolate flavours, it contains more protein and less sugar than other milk bars.
Dawn Farms is Europe’s leading cooked meat, fermented sausage, and plant protein ingredients company. It not only offers a comprehensive range of fermented and dried sausage products for pizzas, sandwiches, snacks, and prepared meals, it produces a selection of cooked protein options, as alternatives to meat. Dawn Farms is a family-owned company. It exports to over 50 international markets and has grown through long term investment and strategic alignment with many well-known food brands, both in retail and in food service. It operates out of manufacturing facilities in Ireland, Germany, and the UK. The company practices a customer centric business model and prides itself on its added value services, such as its Pure Culinary Science platform. Its Food Plus Programme ensures food safety through high levels of surveillance, forensic investigation, supply management and factory controls to protect its business. In recent years, it has put in place goals and initiatives, focussed on the environment, health and nutrition, the workplace, and the community, through its All our Futures sustainability programme, which it hopes will contribute to a sustainable future for all.
Dawn International is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Arrow Group, a privately held group of agribusiness operations. The group’s first processing site became operational in 1979. Today, it is Ireland’s largest privately-owned agribusiness group, and the fifth largest within the sector in Europe. It boasts a large portfolio of products, including beef, pork, lamb, poultry and fish. The group comprises 100 companies, with bases in 12 countries worldwide. A team of 6,000 people produce food products as diverse as farmed meat and pasta. Throughout these diverse activities, it operates technically advanced farming, slaughter, de-boning, retail packing and cooking. Dawn International trades with more than 40 countries around the world. It attributes its growth to investment in people, processing technology, research and new product development. Its dedication to food safety, quality and value gives it a competitive edge around the world. The company's mission is to bring together providers and procurers within the food sector, and to ensure that their needs are represented, in brokering long-term and sustainable business.
Dawn Meats is the supplier of choice to a range of leading supermarket, foodservice and restaurant businesses, exporting to more than 50 countries. As a family-owned business Dawn Meats remains true to its farming heritage through the close relationships it has forged with over 30,000 Irish and British farmers, from whom it directly sources grass-fed cattle and lamb for processing at its 10 Irish and 12 UK sites. Dawn Meats was established in Co. Waterford, Ireland in 1980, and has grown to become a business with over €2bn in annual revenue, employing over 8,000 staff in 12 countries. The company works with some of the world’s leading food companies, who are attracted to its commitment to sustainability and quality. Dawn Meats took full control of Dunbia in July 2020, and its combined businesses in the UK and Ireland process approximately 1 million cattle and 3 million sheep annually. Over the last two years, Dawn Meats has won numerous awards, including the Green Food and Beverage Awards 2021 Best Sustainable Meat Producer, World Steak Challenge Awards, Great Taste Awards, Irish Quality Food Awards and Blas na hÉireann Awards.
John Stone Beef
John Stone Beef has been producing artisan meat for over 50 years. All of the John Stone Beef meat is produced in Ireland, at its state-of-the-art facility in Ballymahon, Co. Longford. The company prides itself on listening to the opinions of its customers and knows exactly what they want. Its premium quality meat is not only grass-fed and dry-aged, but kitchen-ready when it arrives. John Stone Beef aims to be better on the farm, in its environmental practices, its selection of meat, its dry-ageing and its butchery. Its supplier farms are small, family-owned businesses. The beef comes from suckler herds where calves spend at least 10 months suckling from their mother. According to EU rules, hormones are banned and antibiotic treatments for the animals are strictly controlled. Its cattle are grass-fed, and its farmers use rotational grazing to allow the soil to recover from nutritional depletion. Its master butchers have been known to pass on 90% of the carcasses they inspect. Once selected, the quality beef is dry aged to its exact requirements. It’s a slow, expensive process, but it intensifies the taste of the beef. The beef is then butchered before being exported to global destinations.
The Kepak Group is a family-owned innovative meat company with a rich heritage of over 50 years of meat craft. From a Dublin butcher shop, established in 1966, Kepak has grown significantly. Today the group has a turnover of €1.5bn and employs over 4,500 people. Kepak operates 12 manufacturing facilities throughout Ireland and the UK, with sales offices in Europe, the US and Asia. The group markets a broad range of fresh and value-added meat products serving the foodservice and retail market. At Kepak, sustainability and innovation are important. Kepak’s sustainability strategy, Kepak CORE has ambitious commitments and targets, regarding recycling and waste minimisation, supply chain and sourcing of ingredients, biodiversity, energy efficiency, minimising traffic, and community engagement. The business also makes continuous efforts to support the training, safety, diversity, health, and engagement of its staff. The Kepak Group has achieved Origin Green Gold Membership status and is the only Irish meat company to receive an award for ‘Exemplary Performance’ for biodiversity at the Bord Bia’s Origin Green Awards. The award was in recognition of its significant commitment to sustainability targets and initiatives, as part of the world’s only national food and drink sustainability programme. Visit: kepak.com
Kerry is the world’s leading taste and nutrition partner for food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets. It innovates with its customers to create great tasting products, which have added nutrition and functionality, but also impact the planet in a positive way. Its leading consumer insights, global RD&A team of 1,100+ food scientists and its extensive global footprint enable the company to solve its customers complex challenges with differentiated solutions. At Kerry, the team is driven to be its customers’ most valued partners, creating a world of sustainable nutrition. It aims to reach over 2 billion consumers with sustainable nutrition solutions by 2030.
Kildare Chilling Company
Kildare Chilling Company is a fully integrated beef and lamb operation, with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, located on the edge of the Curragh in Co. Kildare. The company enjoys a reputation for producing high quality meat. This is a reflection of the high standard of livestock, processing systems and controls which it operates. Its products are mostly bespoke and developed according to customer requirements, but the company also includes the Kildare Farms and Kildare Heritage Town brands. Kildare Farm is a selection of retail-ready, vacuum-packed joints. The company’s packaging system ensures farm-fresh quality, tenderness, and taste, for above average periods of time, because the packing acts like a skin, locking in the freshness. The Kildare Heritage Town brand, meanwhile, uses only carefully sourced beef and lamb meat, subject to Bord Bia’s Beef and Lamb Quality Assurance Scheme. Kildare Chilling Company is continuously improving and updating its raw material sourcing, product development methods and manufacturing processes. The trusted procurement methods used, combined with fine-tuned, inhouse processes, contribute to Kildare Chilling Company’s high standards and consist quality.
Liffey Meats is situated in the rich grasslands of Co. Cavan, which allows it to take advantage of the supply of prime cattle from the surrounding countryside. It boasts one of the largest single site abattoirs in Ireland. With other sites in Carlow and Galway, it slaughters 160,000 cattle per annum. Over the last century, the company has evolved from a traditional family butchery to become one of Ireland’s leading beef processors. To this day, it maintains an ethos of striving for customer satisfaction. Liffey Meat’s convenience unit manufactures a range of reformed, portion-controlled, and pre-packed products, including value-added products for own label and private label customers across Europe, North America and Asia. Its convenience food includes hamburgers, grill steaks and retail-packed fresh meat. Its exclusive Sheelin and Castlerahan brands are a guarantee of premium quality meat. Liffey Meats has invested heavily in convenience food research and development, not only in technology, but in increasing packaging sophistication and enhancing long-life products. Its development team is ready to work with new customers to provide quality products that meet consumer demands and is looking forward to attending SIAL this year.
Ornua is a dairy co-operative which markets and sells dairy products on behalf of its members; Ireland’s dairy processors and, in turn, Irish dairy farmers. Ornua is Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products, exporting to 110 countries worldwide. Headquartered in Dublin, it has annualised sales of over €2.3 billion and a global team of 2,850 employees and has sales and marketing teams working in-market across all four corners of the globe. Ornua’s core purpose is to build profitable routes to market for Irish dairy products. The group is structured across two divisions: Ornua Foods and Ornua Ingredients. Ornua Foods is responsible for the marketing and sales of Ornua’s consumer brands including Kerrygold, Kerrygold Dubliner, Pilgrims Choice, Forto and BEO milk powders. In 2019, Kerrygold became the first Irish food brand to exceed €1 billion annual retail value. Ornua Ingredients is responsible for the procurement of Irish and non-Irish dairy products, for the sale of dairy ingredients to food manufacturing and foodservice customers across the world, and for managing volatility through de-risking and trading strategies.
QK Meats was established in Ireland in 1992. From its origins in beef packing, it is now a major player in the worldwide meat protein markets. As a result of experience, built up over 30 years, the company has formidable expertise and resources. QK Meats has become the partner of choice when selling or sourcing meat products and offal. Following a period of investment, QK Meats established itself in Africa, Asia, the US and South America. With cold storage sites, joint ventures, and commercial partnerships, it offers a stable platform for trade, priding itself on its fantastic personal relationships with suppliers and customers alike. Although QK Meats is independent, it operates as part of the Arrow Group, which enhances its purchasing power within the industry. This backing ensures it delivers on its promise to supply the best quality products consistently, professionally and sustainably. QK Meats is looking forward to welcoming buyers to its stand at SIAL to discuss future opportunities.
Rosderra Irish Meat
Rosderra is Ireland’s largest pig meat processing business, accounting for approximately 50% of the national kill. The company operates two state-of-the-art processing facilities at Edenderry, Co. Offaly and Roscrea, Co Tipperary. The company also has a speciality meat ingredients facility, a pork curing facility and a cooked meat facility. It exports to Europe, the US, Australia, China, Korea, The Philippines, Canada and Japan. With advanced control and quality processes, Rosderra’s farm-to-fork traceability provides its customers with a wide range of world class pork and bacon products. The company’s unique product-coding system enables it to trace all its meat products from their origin and all the materials used to process them to the point of their final destination. This rigorous traceability system gives customers confidence in the Rosderra products, such as the pork range which includes pork belly, loin, ribs, and shoulder. The company’s primary focus is to ensure that all the animals supplied are born and reared in Ireland, from farms participating in the national DNA trace back scheme; and from national registered farms, certified under Bord Bia’s farm Assurance Scheme and approved under Rosderra’s quality pig grid for animal welfare, husbandry, biosecurity, healthcare and structures.
Tirlán, formerly known as Glanbia Ireland, is a world-class food and nutrition co-operative, with a diverse portfolio of quality ingredients, leading consumer and agri brands. The farmer-owned co-operative has a first-class track record of success in the global market. Rooted in a rich heritage of family farming and embedded in its communities, Tirlán has evolved to bring the passion of its farmers and their high-quality milk and grains to the international marketplace. Using modern technology and applying the best processes to its milk pool of 3 billion litres and its premium grains portfolio, Tirlán now exports to more than 80 countries. Its award-winning brands are household names in Ireland, and include Ireland’s number one consumer dairy brand, Avonmore. The organisation delivers exceptional products and tailored nutritional solutions, including Kilmeaden, Wexford, Truly Grass Fed, Solmiko, CheddMax and GAIN. Tirlán has a strong market presence in the UK, France, Germany, UAE, the US, North Africa, Japan and China. Over 2,100 people manage Tirlán’s network of 11 production facilities, serving its communities with annual revenues of over €3 billion expected in 2022. Tirlán is committed to sustainability through its comprehensive Living Proof programme, and the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Wild Irish Game
Wild Irish Game is a producer of venison, located in Co. Wicklow, and Ireland’s longest established game-processing company. It’s part of Ballymooney Foods, a specialist meat company, which sources and processes top quality beef, lamb and venison. Established in 1997, the company is owned and run by The Doyle family, who are third generation butchers. Wild Irish Game takes advantage of the large population of Sika wild deer, which occupy the open hill area of the Wicklow Mountains. These animals have a natural diet, including nutritious herbs, grass and mountain heather, which means their meat is 100% natural and GMO-free. It’s lean, low-fat and naturally high in protein, iron and zinc. Wild Irish Game specialises in retail packs, wholesale and wholesale cuts for foodservice and high-end restaurants.