Irish suckler beef needs separate branding and marketing, say hill farmers

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Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Irish suckler beef needs separate branding and marketing, say hill farmers

Branding of Irish suckler beef to differentiate it from beef sourced off the dairy herd will be a key element of a new policy document on the Irish suckler sector which is being launched by the INHFA this week.

The INHFA is expected to call for a major marketing campaign for suckler beef which highlights the natural provenance and excellent quality of the meat.

Such an initiative would include branding suckler beef as a premium product and necessitate the involvement of Bord Bia in developing outlets and promoting the beef.

The INHFA '10-Point-Plan' will be launched on Thursday at Buswell's Hotel in Dublin and aims to chart a path that ensures the survival of Irish suckler beef farming.

While INHFA officials were tight-lipped on the details of the plan, it is anticipated that the hill farmer body will use its experience in helping to develop a market for hill lamb when outlining its proposals for branding suckler beef.

The INHFA, Kepak and Bord Bia co-operated in the development of the Atlantic Hill Lamb brand.

This initiative will market around 20,000 hill lambs this year to customers primarily in Italy and Scandinavia.

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Coupled support

The INHFA's 10-Point Plan is also expected to include calls for some form of a coupled support for suckler cows.

Sources within the INHFA maintained that a structured plan for the suckler sector was now needed more than ever in light of the threat posed to the country's beef industry by both Brexit and the recent Mercosur deal.

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