Written Answers. - An Bord Bia.

Trevor Sargent

Question:

57 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry the amount of An Bord Bia's budget used to promote Irish beef in Britain; and the percentage of Irish beef sold in Britain labelled as such. [1851/96]

Máirín Quill

Question:

75 Miss Quill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry in view of the concerns of consumers regarding BSE in cattle, if he will provide An Bord Bia with the necessary resources to counter the serious threat to Irish beef on export markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1843/96]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 57 and 75 together. The British market remains the single most important market for Irish beef with exports valued at £210 million in 1995. To maintain our share of this valuable market and overcome the adverse publicity brought about by the BSE scare there before Christmas last, I have asked An Bord Bia to launch an intensive marketing and promotional campaign in order to affirm and project the high quality image of Irish beef. The total cost of the campaign will be £1 million.

Under the European Beef Quality Promotion Scheme, An Bord Bia is to receive £436,000, in respect of measures to be undertaken in 1996 for the marketing and promotion of quality beef. I am looking at the possibility of seeking additional EU funding to augment this scheme in order that there can be a coordinated approach towards promoting beef consumption on the UK market as a generic product.
An Bord Bia is also active in Germany where there has been a fall in beef consumption because of BSE related concerns. Apart from the British and German markets BSE related concerns have not had any impact on consumption.
Traditionally, Irish beef sold in the United Kingdom has not been branded as such and the bulk of our beef exports to that market are sold either unbranded or under own label brands in supermarket outlets. There are no reliable figures on the volume of Irish beef sales in British outlets which is branded as having been produced in Ireland.