Irish processor becomes first European meat firm to gain access to lucrative mince market
Irish meat-processing group Kepak has become the first European meat company to secure access to the US burger market, the largest meat market in the world with an estimated value of more than $122 billion (€111 million).
The approval allows Kepak sell its beef into the US fast-food industry, long regarded as the more lucrative end of the trade.
BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary’s national food safety authority Nebih has found five cases of African swine fever in wild boar carcasses near Budapest, it said on Sunday.
The causes of the infections found in a closed hunting area in Budakeszi, west of the Hungarian capital, were not immediately clear and an investigation was under way, the authority said.
Around ten European Union countries are currently affected by African swine fever, with particularly bad outbreaks in Bulgaria and its neighbour Romania. Slovakia was affected by the disease in four backyard farms as of July.
A red meat crisis meeting has been called by NFU Scotland’s (NFUS) north-east office bearers to discuss current “unsustainable” beef prices and the pressures which are also being felt by sheep producers.
“Beef prices have been at unsustainable levels for many months which is now impacting on store cattle prices and suckler cow numbers,” said Aberdeenshire farmer, Ian Pirie, who will co-chair the panel meeting which is due to begin at 7pm in Sale Ring 2 at Thainstone, Inverurie, on Monday, September 30.
“The sheep industry is also under pressure and facing uncertain times and we would appeal to all farmers, whether NFUS members or not, their families and members of the supply trade, to appear and voice their opinions.”
A dispute between Irish farmers and processors over beef prices that has cut production and caused a wave of temporary layoffs could hit exports from one of the world’s largest suppliers, the Irish Food Board warned on Wednesday.
The row, which began in late July with the picketing of meat factories by a grassroots group of farmers, deepened on Monday when representatives of processors walked away from government initiated talks to resolve the impasse.
Meat Industry Ireland said on Tuesday that its members had temporarily laid off 3,000 employees after the blockading of their factories resulted in the closure of some 80% of overall processing capacity.
As Ireland consumes just 10% of the beef it produces, there will be no threat of products disappearing from Irish shelves, said Tara McCarthy, head of the Irish Food Board, Bord Bia.
The Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) has described news Cardigan Auction Mart will close next month as ’another blow’ for the industry.
The final sale will be held on September 9 (Monday) and comes just a few weeks after the confirmation Cowbridge Mart will close.
It was believed the closure of Cardigan mart would not affect markets in Crymych and Whitland which were also part of JJ Morris.
FUW Deputy President Brian Thomas responded to the news saying: “This announcement comes just weeks after we heard that Cowbridge market is closing and can only be described as another blow for our industry.