As an independent PR agency with strong food and agriculture connections, we have a close interest in Ireland’s food industry which this week received a major boost with the news that Irish beef will be sold into the US market this year, for the first time in 15 years.
In doing so, Ireland becomes the first EU state to return to the lucrative US beef market since the BSE crisis of the late 1990s – a potentially major competitive advantage, with beef from other European countries not expected to be re-admitted to the US for the time being.
This is a big deal. A huge deal actually, when you consider firstly that US buyers are paying more for grass-fed beef than anywhere else in the world, and secondly that the US imported a staggering €4 billion worth of beef last year.
Having worked closely with food brands including Bord Bia and Glenisk – we also have Laois-based G’s Jams as part of our client portfolio – we can imagine how Ireland’s beef producers are feeling about the news. “A huge prize” is how the Department of Agriculture described the US market, which sums it up pretty well.
Cullen Communications also has a strong agricultural background through the Cullen family farm and butcher shop in Co. Wicklow; agency chief Owen Cullen holds an advanced certificate in Agricultural Science while Board member Sarah Cullen has a Masters in the same discipline.
We are, though, a PR agency and it’s primarily from a PR point of view that we welcome this week’s news from across the Atlantic. Re-admitting Irish beef to the US is a major endorsement of Ireland’s credentials as a food producer, one whose commitment to quality, safety and sustainability is renowned and respected throughout the world.
From the same PR perspective, any initiative that strengthens the ties between Ireland and the US can only be a good thing. It may not be on the same scale as the 2013 Gathering – which delivered double-digit growth in US visitors to Ireland – but getting the Irish flag back in US supermarkets and restaurants is a pretty tasty prize.
If you are a food producer looking for PR, contact us today.