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The recent lifting of the outdated SPS (Sanitary & Photo Sanitary) issues preventing the reopening of the US market to beef, albeit still under tariff control, is very welcome. But it should be recognised that prior to the imposition of the ban we were exporting minuscule quantities of beef to the US.

It is an important announcement for the dairy industry also because of the projected increases of dairy beef that we will have to market during our hoped for expansion.

Our processors, government and Bord Bia have significant work to undertake to attempt to find a space for our product in what will be a highly competitive, selective and price sensitive market.

Perhaps it is also an opportune time that a cooperative led major marketing model to brand our beef might be followed.

The beef industry is very different to dairy, but the success of the cooperative led Kerrygold brand historically in Europe and recently in the US show clearly that there is merit in going beyond competing marketing strategies.