There appears to be a push by South American countries to promote and sell beef sourced from Angus carcasses.

At this week’s Salon International d’Alimentation (SIAL) food fair in Paris, where over 7,000 exhibitors showcased their products, a number of South American processors exhibited their Angus beef lines.

In recent years early maturing beef, particularly carcasses sourced from the dairy herd, have become increasingly popular in Ireland.

Although this beef remains in demand on the Irish market, there has been a move to sell this product into premium markets such as Germany.

While the volume of South American beef imported into Europe is limited by tariff quotas, any push by either Brazil or Argentina could potentially put a squeeze on Irish prices in the high-value steak market.

Presently the high-value steak market accounts for 7% of the total 8m tonne European beef market, but in carcass value terms it can reach up to 40%.

What does the South American beef industry have to offer?

The Brazilian Angus Association was on hand at SIAL to explain to potential customers about the advantages of its product.

Formed in 2003, the association specialises in beef produced from Angus cattle and it has access to over 3m Angus cross calves on an annual basis, which is almost twice the entire Irish yearly kill.

A spokesperson for the group said that this enables large-scale production, with continuity and quality over the 12 months of the year.

He added that the association promotes the quality of Angus beef produced in the country and boosts the economic return to the farmers involved, while being able to ship Angus beef to Europe, Asia, North America and Africa.

Argentina’s Angus beef certification body, the Argentine Angus Association, were also on hand to promote its offering to the market.

The Angus beef promoted by the association meets European import standards, which has been achieved through strict genetic selection, combined with seven different quality parameters.

Big market for Brazilian beef in Europe

A spokesperson for the Brazilian group JJZ Beef told Agriland that she believes there is a big market for Brazilian beef in Europe.

She also said that the group is currently look to develop a regular relationship with a client in the UK and she views Europe as an excellent market for Brazilian beef.

This may come as worrying news for Ireland, as some uncertainty remains around Irish beef exports to the UK since the UK decided to vote to leave the European Union earlier this year.

The JJZ Beef spokesperson also said that it is no problem for the processor to send beef to London or Europe.

I think Europe is a major market for Brazilian beef. We have a lot of clients in Switzerland and Holland, but we are looking for a buyer in the UK that wants to buy or beef.

“I think our beef would be received well in London because it is a different type of beef than is currently available on the market.

“Brazilian beef is very different. I think there is a big market for Brazilian beef in Europe,” she said.