Foyle Food Group has exported its first order of Irish beef to the US, just in time for St Patrick’s Day.
The Derry-based firm is one of only two beef producers in Europe which have been approved for export of beef to the United States, following the lifting of a 15-year export ban.
Foyle Food Group and the Irish-led Amboy Group, a New Jersey-based Food Management Services company have begun exporting in response to mounting interest following the recent lanch 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.
It also caters for food service companies, restaurants and hotels throughout North America.
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.”
Foyle Foods bosses said they have have been working closely with a number of customers in the United States, where there is evidence of a big demand for high quality Irish beef, reared on Ireland’s pastures.
Michael Acheson, Business Development Manager for Foyle Food Group, said: “Ireland became the first European Member State to obtain access to the US for its beef in January this year.
“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.
In addition to this, Foyle has its own industry-leading standards for production, processing and traceability.
“Every animal supplied to Foyle, regardless of breed, is now DNA-tested and traceable from field to fork, with samples and records stored including a full life history of each animal’s age, veterinary care, feeding and health records.
“Confidence in the origin of all our beef products is extremely important to our customers, so we do this as a matter of course for every animal we process. 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.”
The initial shipment of beef left Foyle’s Donegal production plant on Monday and will land in JFK, New York on St Patrick’s Day.