Yesterday it was announced that Bord bia has launched a new trade communications strategy for Irish beef in the Italian markets. This announcement was made at Tuttofood in Milan, where many of Ireland’s top meat companies are represented.
Research, carried out by an Bord bia, was done on Italian consumer behaviour, and subsequent work on customer trends around animal welfare and sustainability. The strategies main aim is to convince food buyers that when choosing Irish beef that we can respond to all demands of customers. These demands include sustainably produced quality beef from certified production systems that also respect environment and animal welfare.
CEO of Bord Bia, Tara McCarthy, attended Tuffofood and commented that “Italian consumers are increasingly choosing Irish beef even though their overall consumption of red meat is falling. They are eating less beef but opting for premium cuts and enjoying it as a guilty pleasure following a period of economic austerity.”
She also added research carried out by Bord Bia found that Italian beef remains the first choice although allegiances could be shifted if quality and prices were right. She also commented that 22 of Italian consumers are willing to pay more where animal welfare is certified, while it was found 25% would switch if the beef in question is quality certified.
She went on to say that as a country we are already responding to demands for high quality cuts with our exports industry having grown by 4% in 2016. This meant exports levels reaches a whopping €160m. The Italian market, she said, is now our fourth largest and Bord bia plans to target it as a post Brexit destination for our trade.
The CEO of Bord Bia added “Our priority now is to convince more buyers and consumers that they can enjoy the taste of Irish beef in the knowledge that it is produced to the highest standards of quality, safety and sustainability through our Origin Green programme. The theme of the campaign is freedom, focusing on the stress-free rearing of our beef cattle on family farms respecting the landscape and the environment. This in turn allows the consumer the freedom to choose Irish beef when shopping or eating out and when sharing a meal at home.”
This Bord Bia run campaign will inform more Italian meat buyers about beef production in Ireland and will also focus on the elements that resonate with their consumers e.g. the landscape, farming practices, and traceability.
Approximately 40% of beef consumed within Italy is imported. Italy is the largest importer of beef within Europe and has the second highest consumption rate of around 20kg per capita.
Currently its main exporters include France, Poland, the Netherlands and Germany although Irish beef already features on the menus of many Italian chefs and is available in most major retailers. This group of chefs include the eight members of Bord Bia’s Chef’s Irish Beef Club.
Although Ireland ranks fifth on the list of exporters to Italy, it still is the chief supplier of premium beef to the country. It only features so low on the list in terms of quantity exported.
Due to Italy’s challenging economic environment beef consumption rates in the country, between 2009 and 2014, have decreased by 18.3%.
Italy is also a very important market for Irish food with exports valued at over a quarter of a billion (€287m) in the year 2016 alone.
Irish seafood is also experiencing steady growth in Italy, with a 32% growth in 2016. This increase was driven mainly by langoustines/Dublin Bay Prawns and other shellfish.
In 2016 we saw exports of beef to Italy increased by 4%, while export of beverages increased by 29%, seafood by 32% and sheep increased by 12%.
Currently Five companies at Tuttofood include: ABP, Dawn Meats, Slaney Meats, Liffey Meats and Traditional Meats. Tuttofood is Europe’s third largest trade fair. This year a whopping 100,000 visitors are expected. There has been the addition of two new product sectors to this year’s fair with Fruit and Veg innovation and Tuttohealth making the cut this year.
It is estimated that in 2016 Irelands food and beverage exports to Italy were valued at a massive €287 million.
This planned advertising campaign is going to be released as 6 separate adverts backed up by press releases and all done in a story format. The press releases will cover landscape/farming, sustainability, products, chefs, traceability and most importantly quality.