Lifting of beef ban highlight of year

UK - Northern Ireland farmers celebrated the end of the 10-year exile from lucrative markets with a rally outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels.
calendar icon 29 December 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
The cheers had hardly echoed away when the hard sell to reclaim orders began.

The marketing campaign kicked off with a reception for supermarket buyers and beef wholesalers in Northern Ireland's European office.

A special lunch featured choice steak flown in from Northern Ireland especially for the event.

But it soon became clear the road back to market would not be easy.

Big European retailers who previously had placed the bulk of their orders with Northern Ireland meat plants had been chastened by negative consumer reaction to the BSE crisis.

Ten years in the beef market wilderness had also allowed competitors to home in on the prestige orders which local exporters used to supply.

One significant success though was the decision by the up-market Albert Heijn supermarket group in the Netherlands to once again stock Northern Ireland beef.

Source: BBC News
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