German retail giant signs deal for Irish organic beef
A Tipperary-based company is set to launch one of the biggest contracts ever for Irish organic beef.
Good Herdsman, the company owned by founder John Purcell and ABP, has just struck a deal to supply one of world's largest retailers, Germany's Real Metro group with up to 15t of forequarter beef per week.
While the deal is starting on a promotional basis only, Mr Purcell is hopeful that it will give Irish beef a bigger slice of the €7bn organic food market in Germany.
Mr Purcell is also in discussions with the high-end US retailer, Whole Foods, about supplying Irish organic burgers into that market for the first time.
"Manufacturing mince is making about 15pc more in the US and I think that the whole quarantine situation is going to improve, so I'm really hopeful about doing business there," he said.
Good Herdsman is the largest processor of Irish organic beef, killing 120 animals a week at the moment. Slaney Meats process close to 50 head.
Mr Purcell's comments come at a time when concerns are growing among farmers about the capacity of organic sector processors to handle the volumes of animals that will be coming off Irish farms by 2017.
The launch of a new organic scheme this year saw record numbers sign up to the scheme, bringing the total number of registered Irish organic farms to close to 2,000.