Tesco UK’s move away from young bulls in its branded beef range is unlikely to have an impact on Irish beef sales to the retail giant, according to Bord Bia’s Joe Burke.

Speaking to Agriland, the Bord Bia Beef and Livestock Sector Manager said that Irish beef tends to go into Tesco UK’s mid-range category.

“Tesco finest range is generally reserved for British beef,” he said.

Burke also said that the Irish beef sold to Tesco tends to come from steer and heifer carcasses and so, the removal of young bull beef will have little or no impact on these exports.

In Ireland, Burke continued to say that Tesco purchases mainly steer and heifer beef for the products sold on its Irish shelves, with the majority of this beef coming from breed specific schemes.

Young bulls account for a significant proportion of the Irish beef kill. In 2015, one in 10 beef cattle slaughtered where young bulls.

So far this year, young bulls have accounted for nearly 15% of the beef kill, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

Tesco UK to move away from young bulls

Last week, Tesco UK confirmed to Agriland, that it would be moving away from young bull beef in its branded ranges in the UK.

A spokesperson for the retail giant said this move follows the continuous review to improve the quality and consistency of its products for customers.

‘All of our beef is produced according to high animal welfare and food quality standards and meet industry guidelines.

“In the UK, we will continue to use young bulls in our mince, burgers and meatballs and Boswell Farms ranges; but will be removing them from Tesco Brand beef products by the end of 2016,” the spokesperson said.

It is understood that UK beef makes up the majority of Tesco’s branded beef range, while Irish and UK beef is marketed under its Boswell Farm brand.