Angus, a breed of hardy black cattle, have long been synonymous worldwide with beef of the highest quality.
The cattle have the dual distinction of being recognised as a traditional beef breed name and as a hallmark of the finest quality in butchers’ shop windows and on gourmet restaurant menus.
Angus cattle have long endeared themselves to farmers for their easy breeding qualities, docility of temperament, and ability to thrive and mature early on simple, natural, home grown fodder.
Visitors to any of the major cattle shows now taking place across Ireland will be inevitably attracted to the Angus showing rings where the finest of the breed are on show.
Breeding these fine animals is a passion for many of the Angus producers located across the countryside. That passion was reflected in a decision by six breeders to establish the Irish Angus Producer Group in 1995.
Their aim was to co-ordinate the production and marketing of their unique product on the domestic market. They subsequently formed a processing and marketing alliance with major beef processors ABP Food and Kepak.
Just recently, the Irish Angus Producer Group celebrated a 20-year partnership with Tesco Ireland at an event in Dublin. A number of farmers were also honoured for their commitment and dedication to the production of Certified Irish Angus Beef since the brand was developed.
Irish Angus Producer Group general manager Charles Smith, said that the success of the certified brand has relied on three main factors. One is the commitment of farmer members to improving the quality of their cattle and adapting to ever-changing specification requirements while maintaining traditional farming systems.
Another is the continued support and confidence in the brand demonstrated by Tesco Ireland and its inclusion under the Tesco Finest portfolio 11 years ago.
The third factor is the expertise of processing partners ABP Food Group and Kepak Group in bringing their beef to market in a manner which reflects its quality at every stage.
Sheila Gallagher, commercial director at Tesco Ireland, said the company is committed to ensuring that it continuously offers the best of Irish beef that their customers and their families know and love, week in week out.
“Working with the Irish Angus Producer Group provides additional endorsement that our beef which carries the Certified Irish Angus label has been produced to the highest quality standards,” she said.
“We now look forward to the next chapter of our partnership with the Producers Group to continue to support the network of Irish farm families right across the country.”
The farmers honoured at the Dublin event share a common desire and passion to produce quality beef.
Malachy Tighe and his family farm a pedigree and commercial herd of Angus sucker cows on their farm in Batterstown, Co Meath. His father, Joe, a renowned Angus breeder for the past 50 years, was a founding member of the Irish Angus Producer Group.
Mark Moore, who has a tillage and beef enterprise in Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, also has a strong family link with the Angus breed. His late father, Peter, was one of the original suppliers of Angus cattle to the Certified Irish Angus Beef scheme.
Michael Dullea, a dairy and beef farmer in Clonakilty, Co Cork, assisted his late parents, Ned and Vanda, in managing the farm, having completing his studies at the local Agricultural College. His passion and ambition resulted in his doubling the size of the farm.
Una Gallagher, who combines dairy, beef and tillage enterprises in Straide, Co. Mayo, having purchased the farm in the 1980s. She and her husband, James, managed it jointly until his death in 1994.
She has produced Angus cattle of the highest quality from her dairy herd and has been instrumental in advising other farmers in her region to adopt the breed as their production system.
In the Glen of Aherlow, Co Tipperary, John K Walshe, along with his sister Diana, runs a commercial Angus suckler cow system.
The family has always had a huge interest in the breed and have worked hard to develop it over the years.
John Grennan and his wife, Mary, along with their three daughters, also run a commercial Angus suckler cow herd in Mullinavat, Co. Kilkenny. All cattle are taken from birth to slaughter on the farm. Their love of agriculture is apparent in the quality of the cattle they produce.
Another Kilkenny farmer, Richard Hogg, Stonyford, and his family, run a commercial Angus suckler cow and sheep enterprise. He attended Kildalton Agricultural College and in 1997 took over the farm from his parents.
Angus cattle were a longstanding feature of the Hogg farm and the Tesco Ireland relationship gave Richard the confidence to embrace the Angus breed for his
After completing his agricultural training, Ivan Tanner joined his uncle, Jack Jennings, on his farm in Bandon, Co. Cork.
The production of Angus cattle has always played a key part on this farm which is ideally located for growing grass, the key ingredient in producing superior quality beef.
Elsewhere in Cork, Eddie, Sean and Liam Buckley, Donoughmore, are following a proud tradition. The farm was purchased in 1944 by Eddie’s father, William, who was a hard working entrepreneur.
Today, William’s grandsons, Sean and Liam, run a hugely successful dairy and beef enterprise on the farm where Angus beef production has always been a feature.
Tesco, meanwhile, continues to be the biggest buyer of Irish food and drink in the world and contributes €3.2bn to the economy every year
It employs more than 13,000 people in Ireland, sources food and drink from more than 480 Irish food and drink suppliers, supports 13,000 farm families and says all of the fresh beef, pork, lamb, eggs, and milk it sells are 100% Irish.
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