Dáil Éireann - Volume 521 - 22 June, 2000
Written Answers. - Sheepmeat Sector.
Mr. Stagg Mr. Stagg
31. Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development if his Department has received any reports from Bord Bia as to the success of their lamb promotion in France; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17770/00]
Mr. D. Moynihan Mr. D. Moynihan
60. Mr. D. Moynihan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the promotions that are being undertaken for Irish lamb in overseas markets; the targets that have been set for these promotions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17682/00]
Mr. Walsh Mr. Walsh
 Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): I propose to take Questions Nos. 31 and 60 together.
The efforts of Bord Bia in the French market this year have concentrated on promoting Irish lamb using the positive image of the product identified in its research. The initiative is concentrated in the mid-summer, at a time when Irish supplies are at their most plentiful. The promotion involves clearly identifying Irish lamb as a high quality product and marking retail packs with a “Lamb from Ireland” label. Participating companies must supply lamb according to certain specifications. In addition there will be promotion campaigns in Germany, which is a significant market for Irish lamb, in Spain and Italy. These will include attendance at major food fairs, retail promotions and meetings with buyers. The objective of these campaigns is to secure a better market position and better prices for Irish lamb which are sustainable over a longer period, to support Irish exporters in maintaining strong links with buyers and to promote lamb to younger consumers.
The response to the campaigns has been very positive. However, they must be seen as the first part of a long-term process to create a recognisable image of Irish lamb, which can improve its market share at the premium retail level. Nonetheless, there is recent evidence that the promotion initiative has contributed to arresting the decline in prices to Irish producers which had been taking place since Easter.
Dáil Éireann 521 Written Answers. Sheepmeat Sector.