Bord Bia to provide €3 million for suckler beef promotion if no funding comes from EU

Bord Bia has committed to provide €1 million in funding in each of the next three years for promotion of suckler beef if an application to the EU for funding is unsuccessful.

In a document shared with members of the Beef Market Taskforce, the food board said it was awaiting a decision from the European Commission in November on whether its application for funding has been successful.

However, Bord Bia said it would put €3 million towards suckler beef promotion, spread across three years, in the event that the commission rejects the funding application.

The Bord Bia funding, if it is needed, would be aimed at building awareness of suckler beef, and developing a “brand proposition” to be aimed at target markets.

The funding will be used for activities such as advertising; events; public relations; and digital and social media campaigns.

The application to the commission for funding was made earlier this summer, and follows on from a failed bid for funding last year.

Bord Bia said the funding application last year received “positive feedback” but was in a “highly competitive” funding category.

The goals of the funding application were to:

  • Build awareness of suckler beef among consumers in Germany and Italy;
  • Build propensity to purchase suckler beef among German and Italian consumers;
  • Create a market environment to support demand for suckler beef.

Bord Bia conducted a consumer study in 2019 in Germany, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland to gauge the attitudes of consumers there to suckler beef.

The study found that very few consumers in these countries have an awareness of suckler beef. However, the individual attributes of suckler beef were found to resonate strongly with consumers.

Fall in steak sales

In other Bord Bia-related news, the board is running a major marketing activation partnership with 11 European retailers to drive sales of Irish beef steak this autumn and winter.

The campaign launched in Germany on Tuesday, September 15, and will be rolled-out in Italy in the coming weeks, as well as in Spain in December, featuring in up to 6,000 stores across the three markets.

The foodservice market accounts for a third of all Irish beef exported to continental Europe, while over half of all Irish steak sold in continental Europe is through foodservice.