We're a natural beef supplier to our neighbours - and must keep it that way
We've heard plenty of bluster and fist-pumping Stateside of late as 'America First' has become a mantra throughout the dustbowl of the mid-west.
Yet now it appears those cards are being played by some businesses as they attempt to roll out a 'British First' protectionist trade policy throughout the UK.
As farmers at Irish marts continue to buy those four-legged lawnmowers for a princely sum in the hopes of getting a return, it is impossible to deny the concerns over the tentacles of Brexit's hold on Ireland's €2.3bn valuable beef industry. As key to those returns are the British market where retailers, restaurants, factories and shops take a hefty 270,000 tonnes of Irish beef each year.
The call for food retailers to stock 'British-only' produce came in the week when the rhetoric between the UK and EU became ever more fraught.
Despite not stocking Irish meat, the Co-op chain singled out Ireland as the "biggest beneficiary of the EU meat trade with the UK" and called on other retailers to buy 'British-only'.
Overall, Bord Bia figures show 37pc of Irish food and drink exports are destined for the UK this year valued at €4.13bn.
The UK market is valuable to Ireland, with Irish beef purchased by the three major retailers - Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda - as they top up supplies in a country that is only 60pc self-sufficient. At a time when the number of cattle on the ground is growing, the UK market is even more important.
To put it in context, Ireland is the fifth largest net exporter of beef in the world.