Slaney Foods to supply Irish beef to Lidl’s US stores
Announcement comes as Irish beef wins US Department of Agriculture brand approval
Slaney Foods will be supplying prime Hereford beef to Lidl as part of the low-cost supermarket’s expansion into the US. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
The partnership was announced on the first day of a Bord Bia/Department of Agriculture trade mission to the US and Mexico, which aims to further open up these beef markets to Irish exporters.
“This will be an excellent opportunity for us to supply prime Hereford beef to US consumers. Irish beef is a very different product to US beef, which is primarily corn-fed, but there is an emerging demand in the US for grass-fed, premium beef on retail shelves,” he said.
Lidl, which announced plans to enter the US market earlier this year, has initially opened 10 stores in the east coast, primarily around Virginia and North Carolina. It aims to open 100 stores across the country, where it will be competing with low-cost retailers such as Walmart.
Also on Monday, Irish beef products won approval from the US Department of Agriculture for a special USDA brand which will allow Irish beef to be marketed on US shelves.
Bord Bia chief executive Tara McCarthy said the brand recognition follows three years of engagement with US authorities. “The USDA shield on Irish beef will assist in attracting the US consumer to a new beef taste, a product that is Irish and sustainably produced,” she said.