From Crop to Consumption

Chefs’ Irish Beef Club 'serving' Irish farmers

Bord Bia brought six members of the Italian chapter of its Chefs’ Irish Beef Club (CIBC) to Ireland recently to meet with meat and seafood producers to learn more about farming practices here and give farmers an insight into consumer requirements in Italy.

The visit culminated with a visit to the farm of Margaret and Eamonn Bourke in Kilmullen Co Wicklow where the chefs prepared a spectacular beef and lamb lunch for their hosts.

The CIBC comprises some of the world’s leading chefs who endorse Irish food and are invaluable ambassadors for Irish Quality Assured and Origin Green farmers as suppliers of top quality sustainably produced food. As food buyers, they are also a key source of consumer feedback to the Irish farmer and the Irish food industry working closely with influencers in their respective countries.

Francesco Cassarino, CIBC Chef and owner of the restaurant ‘La Anchoa’ in Marina de Ragusa, Sicily was fulsome in his praise for Irish farmers and their production systems.

“I use Irish Beef in my restaurant because it is so natural and wild, low fat, nice marbling succulent; it just tastes like real beef. The sustainability aspect and Origin Green is so important for me in explaining to my clients that what they eat in my restaurant is natural, healthy and it is produced in harmony with nature, and with respect for the environment.”

Irish farmers have this profound respect for nature, and respect for their animals that nobody else has in my opinion. They know their animals by name or number… that is incredible, I have never seen that elsewhere.”

Nicolas Ranninger, Bord Bia Manager, Milan accompanied the group to Ireland highlighted the role the CIBC plays in its ambition to position Irish food as a premium product in Italy: “Irish food and drink exports to Italy were valued at €329 million in 2017, over half of which was beef. The CIBC members’ efforts enhance the reputation of our food in a country where consumers are increasingly curious about the origins of their food.

“Exports are expected to grow further in 2018 with the gluten-free, craft beverage and seafood sectors also experiencing healthy growth.”