Making the most of the 'fifth quarter'
Published 16/12/2015 | 02:30
One of the success stories of the trade mission was a lesser known Irish meat processing company called the Irish Casing Company.
It employs 250 people, many of whom are working on-site in teams of butchers at almost every meat plant in Ireland.
They secured orders for no less than 1,250t of offal from four new customers in Ghana.
Under German ownership, the company is almost entirely run out of its Tullamore office.
It specialises in handling the fifth quarter for Irish meat plants, by installing teams of butchers into plants that handle all the edible offal from the line.
The business now has a turnover of €50m a year, and is constantly expanding its blueprint into other countries, with teams based in Britain, Poland, Iceland, Portugal and Belgium.
Headed up by Paul Daly, the company has experienced 20pc growth in sales over the last three to four years.
While the product is low value, at approximately €1/kg, the sheer volumes being handled by the company make the business work.
"Just last week we sold 1350t of offal, which is all exported, because 99pc of our output is exported," said Mr Daly.
Some 60pc of their exports head for China, but Africa accounts for the rest, and continues to grow aggressively.
"When we went down to the market here in [the Ghanaian capital] Accra, we had a few boxes of product, which are all heavily branded with the green shamrock.
"As soon as the local lads saw the logo, they were calling out 'we want the Irish flower'," he said.
"We're already sending about 10 containers a week out here. It's mostly feet and heads, which are used in soups here. It takes about five weeks for the boat to get here."