Meat technology Ireland will provide consumer-focused research.

DUBLIN – The beef and sheep meat processing industry in Ireland received a boost with the launch of Meat Technology Ireland (MTI), a research and innovation program that aims to provide a one-stop shop for meat processing research and technology.

The industry-led initiative is a €8.1 million, five-year research and innovation initiative co-funded by Enterprise Ireland and a consortium of nine beef and sheep meat processing companies. The companies behind the initiative are ABP Ireland, Ashbourne Meat Processors, Dawn Meats Group, Dunbia (Ireland), Hilton Foods Ireland, Irish Country Meats, Kepak Group, Liffey Meats, and Slaney Foods International.

“The output of Meat Technology Ireland will be an important enabler for further developing Irish beef and sheep meat exports, meeting marketplace requirements and growing value,” said Phillip Carroll, chairman of IBEC’s Meat Industry Ireland. “The involvement of nine major beef and sheep meat processing companies in this industry-led collaborative innovation initiative is a clear demonstration of the industry’s commitment to delivering on the growth potential of our sector and its strategic role in economic regional development.” IBEC is an Irish business trade group that represents industries both domestically and internationally.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said MTI will directly support innovation in the agri-food sector and contribute to growth in exports.

“The need for greater levels of innovation among Irish companies as part of their response to Brexit is crucial and the launch of Meat Technology Ireland today is well timed, pooling the innovative talents of all the stakeholders involved to compete internationally offering best in class and further leveraging our strong international reputation in the provision of quality meat products,” Sinnamon said.

The MTI is hosted by the Teagasc Food Research Centre at its facility in Dublin with Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Dublin City Univ. (DCU), Univ. College Cork (UCC) and the Irish Cattle Breeders Federation (ICBF) participating as research providers. John Malone was appointed as chairman of Meat Technology Ireland last October and Dr. John Colreavy was named director.