Kepak has said it has "become the first European meat processor to access the US burger market".
It has been awarded United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval for the supply, marketing and distribution of Irish beef in a value-added format of beef burgers into the US restaurant burger market, currently valued at over $122bn.
This means that Irish beef in burger patty format will be available in the United States for the first time.
This USDA-value added beef patty approval will see Kepak’s grass-fed, fully traceable and hormone-free Irish beef being made available to the foodservice and retail sectors with distribution initially focusing on the New York and Boston markets.
Growing new markets
Commenting on the approval, John Horgan, Managing Director, Kepak Group, said: “This announcement will see Kepak’s renowned Irish beef burger patties made available in pubs and restaurants from Monaghan to Manhattan and Massachusetts.”
“Kepak North America, the Group’s sales and marketing office in USA, has been busy growing the sales our Irish beef since the launch of our Celtic Beef Company brand a number of years ago.”
He noted that this burger range will enhance Kepak Group’s foodservice offering and allow it to build upon the success in retail channels that it has already had in the region.
“It is also a commitment by Kepak to add value where possible to Irish meat and to support employment in rural communities,” Horgan added.
Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle said: “With Brexit on the horizon, the current environment for business is challenging, particularly for the beef sector, and developing and growing new markets is a key response to these challenges.”
“Today’s announcement is most welcome news, particularly for the local community in Monaghan where this meat will be produced.”
Today’s news is a testament both to the high-quality beef that Irish farmers are world-famous for producing and to the market access work of my Department in cooperation with the US authorities.” he concluded.