Farm Ireland

Monday 25 March 2019

Offal export opportunities opening up in Europe

Stock image: PA
Stock image: PA
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

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.

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Cheap product

Mr Daly said Brexit hopefully won't impact the trade to a major extent as it will come down to the world market price.

However, he warned the market was "getting more difficult" due to cheap produce.

"The people we deal with in Portugal say their freezers are full, similarly in Poland," he said. "There seems to be a lot of cheap product around and you can't produce at that price."

Indo Farming