The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) has teamed up with the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) to celebrate Northern Ireland’s world-class beef in time for Northern Ireland Beef Week.

The week-long event, running from April 23-30 will focus on how Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured (NIFQA) beef is farmed with the environment in mind and is naturally nutritious.

LMC chief executive Ian Stevenson said: “We are once again proud to be leading the way through the Northern Ireland Beef Week initiative, which provides a great opportunity to showcase our responsibly produced, nutritious, world-class beef.

"As the Northern Ireland beef and lamb industry’s promotional body, LMC is constantly looking at trends in the marketplace at home and abroad so that we can understand what is driving consumer behaviour and the choices they make when they are shopping for meal solutions.

"There is no doubt in our minds that Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured Beef is truly world-class, and our planned activity during Beef Week works hard to promote the very positive story we have to tell.

"Our activity during Beef Week will use the sensory experience that comes with cooking and eating high-quality beef as a tool to engage consumers in the positive story that the beef industry has to tell in addressing global challenges such as climate change and meeting the nutritional needs of a growing population.”

Environmental sustainability has become a cornerstone of the region's farm assurance programme, Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assurance (NIFQA).

"NIFQA beef farmers are contributing to an environmentally progressive industry," Stevenson said.

“Northern Irish beef farmers continue to farm regeneratively, improving grasslands, planting hedgerows and trees which provide a habitat for many small animals as well as storing significant amounts of carbon in grasslands. This is why we are in the perfect climate to produce our world-class, grass-fed beef, which in return gives consumers a local product which is naturally rich in macro and micronutrients which we will be highlighting during Beef Week.”

2021 Northern Ireland Beef Week

Promotional activities for the 2021 Northern Ireland Beef Week have had to move online to comply with Covid-19 guidelines. However, this has not hindered plans, as LMC are undertaking a series of activity throughout the week including local chef and ‘Truth About Beef’ presenter James Devine.

A social media campaign will also run across both the LMC, and Beef and Lamb NI Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, reaching a wide demographic of consumers.

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) will also work alongside social media influencer ‘Dish You Were Here’ to run a cookery demonstration using NIFQA beef, while informing viewers of the benefits of the beef industry to the environment and why they should always look for the NIFQA logo.

UFU deputy president William Irvine said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with LMC for Beef Week 2021. It’s such an important initiative providing a much-needed opportunity to focus on our high-quality, versatile NIFQA beef, produced to world-leading environmental and animal welfare standards.

“With climate change being at the top of everyone’s agenda, and following the recent support given by several of our local political parties regarding proposals to legislate for net-zero by 2045 in NI - which could wipe out half of our livestock farmers just to meet a legislative target that does not seem to have any scientific basis - its important now more than ever to showcase the magnitude and sustainability of local beef farming in NI.

"From our extensive grass-fed systems to the key role our beef farmers have in tackling climate change and caring for the environment and wildlife.

"The beef sector is a major driving force within agriculture, one of our most successful industries and we will be working to promote its significant contributions to NI in entirety, throughout Beef Week.”