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Minister Coveney Visits Washington DC for Irish Beef Launch

Bord Bia Infographic

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney visited Washington DC on Tuesday 10 February to mark the relaunch of Irish beef in the US market. Ireland is the first EU country to export beef to the US in over 15 years. While in Washington, the Minister delivered speeches at both the World Bank and the School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University.

Minister Coveney and Professor Chris Chivvis at Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C

In his speech to John Hopkins University, the Minister highlighted, "Last year, Ireland’s agri food exports reached a record value of almost $12 billion dollars. That’s about 10% of the value of US agricultural exports, but I think you will agree – a significant achievement for a country that is half the size of New York State, with only a quarter of its population.”

He also noted that "Ireland’s reputation for the highest standards of food safety and traceability have underlined that success story”.

He concluded that he was very pleased that “those standards have been recognised by USDA, in approving Ireland as the first EU country to export meat to the US in over 15 years."

As part of the promotional visit, the Minister also met with key US buyers and distributors of beef: ”The feedback from leading American chefs, food companies and distributors has been overwhelmingly positive” Minister Coveney said. “There is a specific high end market opportunity for premium quality, grass rich, hormone-free beef. Irish beef ticks all those boxes, and in addition comes with the guarantee of the highest food safety, quality and traceability standards. The announcement by ABP of its €15m deal with US distributor SYSCO is undoubtedly the first of many such deals to come for Irish exporters”

“Our research confirms that Irish beef fully meets the US consumer's expectations of purity, simplicity and grass fed and is reinforced by our sustainable Irish beef story. The US consumer wants to “taste the difference” and will pay more for Irish beef based on quality. Bord Bia colleagues in New York and Dublin have engaged intensively with targeted potential customers for the past two years.”

World renouwnded Chefs Cathal Armstrong and Jean-Paul Jeunet

The Minister concluded the visit in Washington by attending a reception hosted by Ambassador Anne Anderson at her residence. The reception featured beef from Bord Bia prepared by world renowned chefs Cathal Armstrong from the restaurant “Eve” in Alexandria, Virginia, and Jean-Paul Jeunet, owner of “Arbois et le Jura” in France.

Minister Coveney at Embassy of Ireland Residence

At the reception, the Minister said: “This week was significant in terms of generating awareness in the US of just what Irish beef can offer. Great credit is due to Bord Bia for putting in place an exciting marketing strategy to help Irish exporters reach US buyers and consumers. I’m confident that this week is just the start of an exciting new chapter in the great story that is Irish beef.”

Ambassador Anne Anderson, Minister Simon Coveney, Chef Cathal Armstrong, US Trade Representative Darci Vetter, and Bord Bia CEO Aidan Cotter