May 2015: ABP Food Group

Company of the Month | Tue 9 Jun | Author – Business & Finance
Paul Finnerty ABP
Paul Finnerty, CEO, ABP Food Group

With more markets opening up for Irish beef around the world, this is an important time for the industry and ABP is at the centre of this high performance sector.

ABP Food Group is one of Europe’s leading privately owned agribusiness companies, and is the largest beef processor in the UK and Ireland. Earlier this year, ABP became the first food company in Ireland to secure a deal to supply beef to the US since the 15-year ban on European beef was lifted a year ago.

ABP has agreed to source the beef to Sysco Metro New York and Sysco Boston, initially focusing on steak houses and restaurants in those markets.

The relationship between ABP and Sysco’s New York and Boston distribution centres was facilitated by Ireland-based Pallas Foods, a subsidiary of Sysco Corporation. When fully protracted, the agreement could be valued at up to €15m.


Speaking at the time of the deal announcement, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Simon Coveney TD said: “This represents the first sale of Irish beef into the US since we regained access to the market and no doubt will be the first of many such deals for Irish companies. ABP can be very proud to be the first European company selling beef into the US in 15 years and I would congratulate Pallas Foods also on their role in this. Partnering with large US food companies like Sysco is the perfect way to bring the taste and quality of Irish beef to US consumers and I wish them every success in this venture.”

In May, the ministers led a trade mission to the US to mark the lifting of the ban. A delegation of farmers, food producers and industry leaders visited the US as part of a major trade promotion to highlight Irish beef’s arrival into the US market for the first time in more than 15 years.


Paul Finnerty, CEO ABP Food Group said: “We look forward to developing and growing our partnership with Sysco who will be key in helping us bring our sustainable, grass fed, hormone free Irish beef to the plates of US consumers. We greatly appreciate the efforts made by Tadhg Geary and Pallas Foods in helping build this international partnership.

According to Finnerty, ABP’s initial focus will be on the north-eastern region of the US where they will concentrate on establishing Irish beef in a sustainable and measured way.

ABP also operates substantial renewable, pet food and protein division, employs 8,000 people at 60 facilities around the world, and is a major exporter of beef to over 20 countries.

About the CEO

Paul Finnerty is Group chief executive with ABP Food Group, one of Ireland’s largest private companies and an employer of 8,000 people in the Ireland, UK and mainland Europe.

ABP are Europe’s largest beef exporter, and also have significant interests in convenience foods, pet food and renewable energy. Finnerty has been with ABP for 10 years, and before that worked with KPMG Corporate Finance.

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