Irish steak bound for shelves in US Lidl
Prime Irish Hereford steaks will soon be on Lidl shop shelves in the US after authorities Stateside gave it their seal of approval.
The move was unveiled as Agriculture Minister Michael Creed led stakeholders from the Irish agri-industry on a trip to the US and Mexico in a bid to secure new markets for Irish produce.
After three years of negotiations, Bord Bia said the profile of grassfed Irish beef would be strengthened after it secured the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) seal of approval.
The food marketing body said this would accelerate its work with beef buyers and retailers.
Co Wexford-based Slaney Foods International will supply the ribeye and sirloin steaks to the 10 Lidl stores across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
However, Slaney managing director Rory Fanning said there was strong "potential" for growth of Irish beef sales, with Lidl due to have 100 stores in the US by this time next year.
Mr Fanning said the promotion of Irish beef as a premium product was key to growing markets.
Mr Creed said it was an "exciting time" for the industry with access to the US first granted for prime cuts in 2015 and trade in manufacturing beef getting under way earlier this year.