After year one of the Bord Bia Honest by Nature campaign promoting Irish beef to Dutch consumers, consumer research has showed a significant increase in the levels of Dutch consumer awareness of Irish beef. This is according to Margaret McCarthy, in the Amsterdam Office of Bord Bia.

Top-of-mind awareness has doubled, making Ireland now the most recognised imported beef by Dutch consumers, even though it ranks fifth importer by volume and value, she outlined in its latest Food Alert.

“The associations of Irish beef amongst Dutch shoppers are remarkably positive, with consumers showing strong appeal for the grass-fed story of Irish beef, and they are also showing a willingness to pay a premium for Irish beef above beef from other origins.”

McCarthy continued: “The research shows a strong increase in interest in country-of-origin labelling from higher-income shoppers, and a wider understanding of their associations with regard to sustainability in beef. Previously, the Dutch debate on sustainability within the meat category had been focused on animal welfare; the research shows that in the past year consumer understanding of sustainability has broadened significantly to include carbon-footprinting, water management and biodiversity.”

The three-year Bord Bia campaign uses Irish farmers to explain the natural, animal-welfare and environmentally friendly story of grass-fed beef.

In the Netherlands, a three per cent growth in Irish beef output is anticipated for 2014.