Tipperary firm inks big baby food contract
Tipperary-based organic meat producer Good Herdsmen has agreed a major contract with a German company to supply organic beef for baby food.
Good Herdsmen will require an additional 700 organic beef cattle per year to supply beef to the German company, which will be processed into jars of beef stews, casseroles and other dishes for the European market.
Given that the annual organic cattle kill in Ireland is 5,000 head, this new contract will account for 14pc of the Irish national kill.
The beef supplied will be under 30 months of age and subject to rigorous quality and safety standards. John Purcell, director of Good Herdsmen, said the first supplies will be delivered to Germany this week after a week-long inspection of the plant at Cahir, Co Tipperary.
Good Herdsmen was first established in 1989 by Josef Finke and opened Ireland's first independent organic meat processing factory in 2004. AIBP became a 50pc shareholder in the company this year.
Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture show that organic calf births increased by 7pc last year, indicating a positive mood among organic beef producers.
Organic store cattle prices in the first half of this year were €150/hd above the price for conventional stores and it is believed some organic farmers have forward sold weanlings for the autumn at €2.20/kg.
Teagasc organic expert Pat Barry said the strong prices were partly driven by stocking rate requirements but also demand from organic finishers.