APB Foods, a European meat processor with headquarters in Ardee, County Louth. Ireland, has announced the first deal to supply beef to the United States since the 15-year ban on European beef was lifted a year ago.

ABP has agreed to source the beef to Sysco Metro New York and Sysco Boston, initially focusing on steak houses and restaurants in those markets. The relationship between ABP and Sysco’s New York and Boston distribution centers was facilitated by Ireland-based Pallas Foods, a subsidiary of Sysco Corporation. When fully protracted, the agreement could be valued at up to €15 million per year with first shipments expected to commence in March this year.

Commenting on the announcement Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Simon Coveney said: “I am delighted to be present today to mark the announcement of this deal between ABP and Sysco. This represents the first sale of Irish beef into the US since we regained access to the market and no doubt will be the first of many such deals for Irish companies. ABP can be very proud to be the first European company selling beef into the US in 15 years and I would congratulate Pallas Foods also on their role in this. Partnering with large US food companies like Sysco is the perfect way to bring the taste and quality of Irish beef to US consumers and I wish them every success in this venture.”

Paul Finnerty, CEO ABP Food Group said: “We look forward to developing and growing our partnership with Sysco who will be key in helping us bring our sustainable, grass fed, hormone free Irish beef to the plates of US consumers. We greatly appreciate the efforts made by Tadhg Geary and Pallas Foods in helping build this international partnership.”

“Our initial focus will be on the Northeastern region of the US where we will concentrate on establishing Irish beef in a sustainable and measured way. I would also like to commend the work of the Minister, the Department of Agriculture and Bord Bia in helping to achieve the significant milestone for the Irish beef sector.”

Source: ABP Food Group