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

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

 

Wexford-based Slaney Foods has signed a deal to supply Irish beef to Lidl in the US as part of the supermarket’s expansion into America.

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.

Speaking in Washington, DC, Slaney Foods’ managing director Rory Fanning said it would supply Irish Hereford beef to the low-cost supermarket chain as part of Lidl’s expansion.

“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.

The Bunclody-based company has been supplying Lidl with Hereford beef in Ireland and across Europe for more than four years.

Competing

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.