Luxembourg retailer strikes deal to exclusively stock Irish lamb

The decision of Luxembourg retailer Cactus to exclusively stock Irish lamb from its self-service and butcher counters has been welcomed by Bord Bia.

The new business relationship was marked by a visit to Cactus by: Irish Ambassador to Luxembourg Peadar Carpenter; Bernadette Byrne of Bord Bia; Alexandre Dupont, manager director of A. Lonhienne; and Yannick De Mesmaeker, meat category manager of Cactus Group Luxembourg.

Commenting on the decision to exclusively stock Irish lamb, De Mesmaeker said: “Irish lamb has won us over and we have decided to promote it to our customers who value quality first and foremost.

“Our contact with Irish sheep producers, facilitated by Bord Bia, has been very successful and we are delighted to offer this excellent meat to our customers.”

Cactus is apparently the number one premium grocery retailer in Luxembourg with a market share of 43%, according to Bord Bia. In 2016, sales reached €948 million – of which 80% was food.

Bernadette Byrne, Bord Bia’s meat marketing specialist in Paris, commented: “We are very pleased with this decision by Cactus to prioritise Irish lamb.

“This is a clear endorsement of the quality of Irish lamb and positive news for Irish sheep farmers.

“Luxembourg remains a strategic market for premium Irish lamb and Bord Bia will continue to work towards increasing the market share for Irish meat in the Benelux region.”

Headquartered in Camolin, County Wexford, Irish Country Meats (ICM) acquired Belgian lamb processor Lonhienne in 2011. ICM is a fully verified member of Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme.

Joe Hyland, managing director of Irish Country Meats, commented: “Irish Country Meats is delighted to become the exclusive supplier of quality Irish lamb to Cactus.

“Our business in Belgium, A. Lonhienne, has a longstanding relationship with the Cactus Group and we are pleased with their decision to endorse and promote Irish lamb in their stores.

“We look forward to working with Cactus and Bord Bia in growing Irish Lamb’s market share in Luxembourg.”