RESPONSIBLY farmed, sustainable beef will take centre stage next week as industry bodies come together to champion Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured (NIFQA) beef for NI Beef Week.
The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and ABP will come together for the weeklong campaign, which runs from 23rd – 30th April. Throughout the course of the week the organisations will highlight the health and environmental benefits of NIFQA beef as well as promoting local farmers who dedicate their time and skill to producing beef which meets world leading standards for quality, food safety, animal welfare and care for the environment.
LMC chief executive, Ian Stevenson said, “This weeklong campaign is spearheaded locally by the Livestock and Meat Commission and we are delighted to once again team up with the UFU and ABP to share the positive farm to fork story of NIFQA beef, and to encourage consumers to enjoy naturally nutritious NIFQA beef as part of a healthy balanced diet.
“The NI beef and sheep meat sector makes a substantial contribution to the NI economy with sales of over £1.5bn per year. We can with confidence claim that NIFQA beef is among the most sustainable in the world, this is thanks to continued dedication of NIFQA farmers to meet world leading standards for eco-conscious farming. Our farmers and the local agri-food industry are making excellent strides when it comes to sustainable beef farming with much work already underway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve productivity and resource efficiency within supply chains.”
Noting that NI Beef Week provides a perfect platform to communicate the benefits of NIFQA beef to consumers, Ian said, “We are very much looking forward to sharing the positive attributes of NIFQA beef and hope to reach a cross section of consumers thanks to a radio partnership with Cool FM. We will also share informative infographics and delicious beef recipes via our LMC social media channels throughout the week.”
UFU beef and lamb chair Pat McKay said, “Beef Week provides the perfect opportunity for industry collaboration, enabling us to build upon the farm to fork education piece with a primary focus on the sustainable production of NIFQA beef. Nutritious products produced by local farmers to world leading animal welfare and environmental standards.
“Here in Northern Ireland we have an extensive grass-fed system that feeds into the maintenance of our world-renowned green landscape. Local farm families work with nature daily and are continually working to reduce their emissions further while producing quality food to feed the nation.
“Due to the passion and dedication of our farmers, the beef industry delivers not only for NI families, but local communities and the wider economy, providing rural employment and helping to boost tourism. NIFQA beef products are a firm favourite at home and abroad, and we look forward to providing an insight to on-farm beef production and celebrating everything the sector has to offer in the coming week.”
ABP has also lent its backing to the initiative and has sought to involve young consumers in a very practical way.
“ABP is delighted once again to support NI Beef Week. This year, we are encouraging our finalist schools competing in the ABP Angus Youth Challenge to get involved in the initiative too. ABP Linden Development Chef Ronan McLaughlin along with Downtown Country presenter and social media influencer, Victoria Quinn, have challenged the teenagers to compete against each other in a ‘Best-Ever NI Beef Burrito Challenge using NIFQA beef,” explained Gerry Mellotte, ABP Procurement.
At the start of the week, Victoria Quinn will be cooking from home and posting to her Tik Tok channel. Then pupils from Down High School; Friends School Lisburn, St Killian’s Carnlough and St Louis Grammar Ballymena will be cooking up LMC’s Beef Burrito recipe and sharing their dishes on social media. Their videos will then be judged by Ronan McLaughin, Victoria Quinn and LMC. The winning team will be invited to the ABP stand at the Balmoral Show.