Farm Ireland

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Beef bosses pray for English Euro run

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Ireland's meat processors will be secretly shouting for England in the upcoming European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine.

Setting aside their national pride, meat factory bosses will be hoping for England to beat their Pool D opponents France, Sweden and Ukraine and make it through the knockout stages to the final in Kiev on July 1.

Why? Because there is a direct link between the performance of the English soccer team and the amount of Irish beef sold across the water.

Hot weather and a good run for England at Euro 2012 would see sales of burgers and other barbecue cuts soar in the next month. The boost that a good England soccer performance would give to Irish beef could be bigger than this summer's Olympic Games.

"Soccer supporters would put away a hell of a lot more burgers than the Olympic audience, which tends to be a more refined bunch," remarked one meat processor.

Combined with a scarcity of finished cattle, a European Championships boost would be the icing on the cake for beef finishers.

The latest CSO figures show that the number of cattle slaughtered this April was almost 20pc lower than the same month last year.

Just 110,000 cattle were slaughtered in April 2012, compared to 136,900 head in April 2011, a fall of 19.4pc.

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Figures for January to April this year show that cattle slaughterings were 12.8pc lower than the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the finer details of Dawn Meats' €300m deal with McDonald's remain shrouded in mystery.

The deal includes a new €14.5m purpose-built facility at Dawn's Carroll Cross plant in Waterford that will have the capacity to process an extra 18,000t of beef.

However, a spokesman for Dawn Meats declined to comment on whether the deal would result in additional demand for cattle at its plants.

The word is that McDonald's bosses are anxious to keep information regarding the deal under wraps.

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