Offal export opportunities opening up in Europe
Appetites for offal are increasing across Europe, with changing demographics driving demand.
One of the biggest markets for the so-called 'fifth quarter', including beef feet, ears and lambs' heads, continues to be the African continent.
Traditionally beef feet were destined for that region where it is a high volume, low-content market, with the meat, bone and marrow destined for stew pots.
Paul Daly, managing director of the Tullamore-based Irish Casings Company, said there is increasing interest across Europe for offal parts.
However, these would have to be packaged and presented for the supermarket consumer.
"We are looking at the market in Europe," he said, with changing tastes with many nationalities making Europe their home.
Currently, some of the bigger buyers are in West Africa, such as the Ivory Coast and Ghana. However, the offal is still at the dearer end of the market there. It is competing with fish at 40c/kg and chicken backs from carcasses at 25c/kg.
Another strong customer is Korea for pork offal.