Beef exports to US will begin in March
Irish beef could be on American plates for St Patrick's Day.
ABP has confirmed that shipments of beef to US food distribution giant Sysco will kick off in March. The deal will be worth up to €15m a year to the Larry Goodman-owned group.
The announcement marks the first of many deals that are likely to be done over the course of the four-day tour of New York, Washingston and Boston being undertaken by the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, this week.
The minister is leading a delegation of over 30 beef industry leaders aiming to carve out a piece of the US market for the first time in over 16 years since the BSE ban was implemented in 1999.
The ABP deal, facilitated by the company's long-term partner, Tadhg Geary of Pallas Foods, will initially focus on steak houses and restaurants through Sysco Metro New York and Sysco Boston.
The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said that he hoped it would be the first of many such deals for Irish companies.
"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," he said.
ABP employs over 8,000 people at 60 facilities around the world, while Sysco has a turnover of more than $46bn and employs more than 50,000. Pallas Foods was bought by Sysco in 2009 and employs over 750.