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Launch of €7.7 Million Joint Lamb Promotion

The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD today announced Ireland`s role in a €7.7 million campaign to be launched in six European countries to encourage people to cook with lamb. Bord Bia (Ireland), EBLEX (England) and Interbev (France) are undertaking this initiative following a successful joint application through their national authorities for matching funding under the European Union promotion fund. 

Minister Coveney made the announcement during his visit to the biennial SIAL trade fair in Paris “this is great news for Irish sheep meat producers and processors and I would like to compliment Bord Bia and partners for the energy they invested in bringing this joint initiative to fruition.   As major European sheep meat producing countries we have a shared interest in working together to tackle the decline in sheep meat consumption. We can achieve more together.  EU matching our investment means that we can reach more consumers and raise demand across the category of this tasty and versatile meat.”

The programme aims to stem the decline of around 20% in sheep meat consumption and production in the EU since 2000. It  will highlight the importance of European lamb production and, by increasing consumer awareness of lamb as a versatile daily-use meat, aims to raise the likelihood of consumer purchases by 5% over three years starting in earnest in spring 2015.

 “Ireland is the second largest sheepmeat exporter in the EU, with the sector valued at over €200m at producer prices. Sheep farming contributes to the economic and environmental balance and diversity of the areas where it is located, particularly as most of it occurs in less favoured agricultural areas. Bord Bia has been working in close partnership on the French sheepmeat market for many years. The programme builds on this partnership by using existing market openings to grow Irish exports.” Minister Coveney added.

The programme will involve promotion and marketing activities in Ireland, England and France and also in Belgium, Germany and Denmark which have been identified as having significant potential.  It takes existing collaboration between Ireland, England and France on Agneau Presto to a new level.  Agneau Presto, which has been run in France for six years, helped to diversify the lamb offer on shelves and to increase by 3.5% lamb purchases by shoppers under 35 in 2012 and by 1% in 2013.

The new campaign, with significantly higher annual investment, will focus on the 25 to 45-year-old age group and encompass online communications, work with food bloggers and journalists, in-store merchandising, incentives for butchers and print advertising.  It will link with existing Bord Bia initiatives to boost demand for lamb in Ireland.

Note to editors

These campaigns take place under EU Council Regulation 501/2008 on funding generic promotion and information programmes for agricultural products in the European Union.  Programmes are funded 50% by the EU with the balance provided by the trade organisation representative of the sector concerned. The next closing date for applications will be in February 2015.

In order to alleviate the impact of the Russian measures against certain EU agricultural products, the Commission made available an additional €30 million of EU funding for CAP promotion programmes starting in 2015, on top of the €60 million foreseen annually in the CAP budget. This funding was primarily directed towards programmes due for submission by end September 2014. As this is co-funded by the promotion organisations themselves, this results in schemes with the potential to be worth at least €120 million running in 2015.


View this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR154/2014 (pdf 648Kb) 


Date Released: 20 October 2014