ABP strikes first beef deal in US

Ireland’s ABP Food Group has become the first European company to agree a deal to supply beef to the US, since the lifting of the BSE-related ban a year ago.

ABP believes the deal could be worth up to €15 million (£11.1m) per year, with the first supplies expected to commence in March. In January, Ireland became the first European member state to obtain access to the US for its beef.

The company has agreed to supply beef to Sysco Metro New York and Sysco Boston – a company which specialises in the selling, marketing and distribution of food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities. There will be an initial focus on steak houses and restaurants.

Minister for agriculture, food and marine Simon Coveney TD said: “I am delighted to be present today to mark the announcement of this deal between ABP and Sysco. This represents the first sale of Irish beef into the US since we regained access to the market and, no doubt, will be the first of many such deals for Irish companies.

“ABP can be very proud to be the first European company selling beef into the US in 15 years. Partnering with large US food companies like Sysco is the perfect way to bring the taste and quality of Irish beef to US consumers and I wish them every success in this venture."

The relationship between ABP and Sysco’s New York and Boston distribution centres was facilitated by Ireland-based Pallas Foods, a subsidiary of Sysco Corporation.

Paul Finnerty, CEO of ABP Food Group, said: “We look forward to developing and growing our partnership with Sysco, which will be key in helping us bring our sustainable, grass-fed, hormone-free Irish beef to the plates of US consumers. We greatly appreciate the efforts made by Tadhg Geary and Pallas Foods in helping build this international partnership.”

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