Demand prompts recruitment drive for NI Aberdeen Angus farmers

A rise in demand for Northern Irish Aberdeen Angus beef has triggered a recruitment drive for the sector. 

As a response, the Foyle Food Group (FFG) is supporting initiatives by the Aberdeen Angus Quality Beef Ltd (AAQB) to attract more members into the trade. The sector is being made more appealing by supplier prices also increasing alongside demand.

Founded in 1998, the purpose of the farmers’ co-operative AAQB is to improve the returns for farmers producing Aberdeen Angus cattle.

“Our aim 20 years ago was to co-ordinate a weekly supply of suitable stock to a Northern Ireland processor so that the retail worth of Aberdeen Angus bred cattle would be reflected in producer returns,” said Anne Morrison, who heads up the AAQB and was recently recognised for agricultural achievement by the Ulster Farmers’ Union.

“The aim was, and still is, to maximise members’ returns through a food chain partnership, delivering a premium product of consistently high quality to the discerning consumer,” she continued. “As the Aberdeen Angus breed has unrivalled brand awareness with chefs and consumers alike, producer prices should reflect this extra value.”

FFG is working alongside AAQB to help the co-operative secure markets. It has been supplying Aberdeen Angus beef to Tesco stores in Northern Ireland since 2000.

Terry Acheson, chief executive of FFG commented: “We are working alongside the producers’ co-operative to attract more Aberdeen Angus suppliers and developed a unique bonus scheme to attract more premium-quality suppliers. This has increased the supply of Aberdeen Angus and continues to be keen to attract further suppliers.”

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