The past year has seen the Goodman-owned ABP Food Group extend its share of the Irish beef market, with a joint-venture passed by European Competition Authorities in October allowing it to acquire a 50pc stake in Slaney Meats.
While Goodman (78) has beefed up his meat processing operations at home, beef exports have been severely hit by sterling/euro fluctuations, which are estimated to have wiped 570m off the value of Irish food and drink exports to the UK — 50pc of Irish beef continues to go to that market. ABP remains the largest beef processor in Europe, with 37 manufacturing plants in Ireland, the UK, Poland, the Netherlands, Austria and Spain. It extended its market share in Poland with the acquisition of a third production plant. It is understood the facility will bring ABP's production capacity in Poland up to 250,000 cattle annually.
ABP was the first Irish company to get beef into the US after that market re-opened to Irish beef in 2015 — a deal worth in the region of 15m at the time. While Irish beef exporters have not made significant inroads into the US market, it's understood that the Goodman operation is looking at expanding further into the ‘beef for grinding' market.
Brexit and sterling fluctuations may have negatively impacted his core business interests and the uncertainty around the UK as Ireland's main beef market hangs like a cloud over the entire agri-food industry. However, he has other interests, including Irish commercial property.