One German retail hypermarket chain REAL purchased over 5,000t of Irish beef in 2015, according to Mark Zieg of Bord Bia.
The CEO of the chain REAL visited Ireland recently to experience Ireland’s Origin Green national sustainability programme in person.
Patrick Müller-Sarmiento visited farms in Cavan and Tipperary as well as several beef processing plants during a two-day visit to Ireland.
According to Zeig, Ireland exported approximately 21,000t of beef to Germany in 2015 and REAL accounted for an estimated 5,000t of that figure.
Müller-Sarmiento said, “Since we started listing Irish beef, the volumes have continued to increase because our customers especially value the juiciness and characteristic flavour of this quality product.
“Last October, we decided to add Irish organic beef to our portfolio which allows us to offer organic beef from Ireland to our premium customers.”
Jonathan, Daphne and Jane Shackleton, direct descendants of Antarctic explorer, Ernest Shackleton, welcomed the REAL delegation to their farm in Mullagh, Co. Cavan.
Aidan Kennedy also hosted the group on his dairy farm in Dranganbeg, near Cahir, Co. Tipperary, and explained the details of how Bord Bia’s Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) impacts on his farm, steps he is taking to improve his Carbon Footprint and other sustainability measures.
REAL is owned by the Metro Group, a leading international retailer and Germany’s largest food retailer.
They have become a key customer of Irish beef, according to Zeig and lamb for many years and last year launched a national promotional campaign focusing on “premium Irish beef” in its TV campaign.