US beef distributors are keen to develop business relationships with Irish beef farmers and processors now that the US market is open to Irish beef, Bord Bia says.

A delegation of US beef distributors and food journalists met with beef farmers and processors who will be supplying American diners, it says.

Bord Bia brought the delegation to Ireland and it says they were also impressed with their experience in tasting Irish beef.

The distributors included De Bragga and Spitler, Pilot Foods and Dole and Bailey who supply the leading restaurants in New York and Boston.

Bord Bia says that they showed an in-depth knowledge of Irish beef and were highly impressed by the farms and plants they visited.

The visits followed active engagement by Bord Bia’s office in New York including the introduction of the Irish beef companies to distributors during Marketplace Boston in September 2014, it says.

Bord Bia says that exports of Irish beef to the United States are already under way and additional plants are being added to the existing list of approved export premises.

It continues to attract new US customers to Irish beef through direct contact, in-store tastings and promotions and through its Irish beef website.

Bord Bia says the experience of the food journalists was also very positive. The opinion formers will raise the profile of Irish beef and increase its appeal to an audience which is prepared to pay for the Irish beef experience.

DeBragga and Spitler are a leading specialist food service meat distributor in the metropolitan area of New York fine dining restaurants and five star hotels.

Pilot Brands is a specialist importer, distributor and marketer of premium quality branded grass-fed meats. It supplies beef to retailers across the US.

Dole and Bailey distributes $50m worth of premium meats, seafood and speciality food each year.