• Consumer perceptions of meat quality

      Cowan, Cathal; Mannion, Michael; Langan, John; Keane, John B. (Teagasc, 1999-10)
      This study describes the policies in place for meat quality in six EU states, ascertains the consumer perception of quality for beef, pork and chicken and suggests how quality policy can be improved so it better meets the perceived needs of consumers.
    • Increasing the logistics efficiency of fresh food exports

      Henchion, Maeve; O'Reilly, Paul; Pitts, Eamonn; Crowley, James; Dolan, Martina; Keary, Roisin; Collins, Alan (Teagasc, 1999-10)
      This report is concerned with the impact on the competitiveness of the Irish food processing industry of the logistics process in the food chain including transport, storage and distribution.
    • Irish consumers' willingness to pay for safe beef

      Cowan, Cathal; Riordan, Nicola; McCarthy, Mary (Teagasc, 2000-09)
      Five hundred Irish consumers were asked about their willingness to pay for safe beef. Their concerns for the safety of food, their level of knowledge of safe food practices and awareness of food poisoning agents were also ascertained.
    • Consumer attributes of farmhouse cheese and honey

      Cowan, Cathal; Murphy, Maurice; Daly, Eimear; Meehan, Hilary; Henchion, Maeve; Pitts, Eamonn; Delahunty, Conor; O'Reilly, Seamus (Teagasc, 2000-12)
      This study determined the ideal combination of attributes of farmhouse cheese (cheddar-type) and farmhouse honey for different consumer segments.
    • Irish retail grocery buyers: evaluation of products and suppliers

      Cantillon, Philip; O'Reilly, Paul; Collins, Alan (Teagasc, 2001-02)
      Over the last number of years the structure of the Irish grocery market has changed dramatically. The impact of external shocks, such as the arrival of Tesco, Aldi and Lidl, simply compounded the effect of changes already in process including the rollout of centralised distribution practices and the repositioning of indigenous retailers' private labels. It is argued that these events have influenced grocery buyers' selection processes as reflected in the criteria they use to evaluate suppliers.
    • Regional images and the promotion of quality food products

      McIntyre, Bridin; Henchion, Maeve; Pitts, Eamonn (Teagasc, 2001-02)
      This research was undertaken as part of the RIPPLE (Regional images and the promotion of quality products and services in the lagging regions of the European Union) project, funded within the FAIR Programme (1994-1999). The project objective was to assist public and private institutions develop strategies, policies and structures to aid the successful marketing of quality products in the lagging regions of the EU. The project also sought to provide consumer perspectives on the issue of regional quality products using survey research.
    • Food Market studies in; meat packaging, nutritional meat products, speciality cheeses, extruded meats

      Cowan, Cathal; Meehan, Hilary; McIntyre, Bridin; Cronin, Tom (Teagasc, 2001-05)
      This project provided market information to researchers on the likely market success of their innovations in the following four areas: anoxic (oxygen free) packaging, developing new meat products with enhanced nutritional properties & consumer acceptability, speciality cheeses, and convenience meat products.
    • The competitiveness of the Irish food processing industry

      Pitts, Eamonn; O'Connell, Larry; McCarthy, Breda (Teagasc, 2001-07)
      Ways of measuring industrial competitiveness are discussed and an analysis of the competitiveness of the food sector as a whole and of three sub-sectors are presented. The techniques employed were Revealed Comparative Advantage and the Porter Diamond.
    • Commercial systems for ultra-rapid chilling of lamb

      Redmond, Grainne; McGeehin, Brian; Henchion, Maeve; Sheridan, James J.; Troy, Declan J.; Cowan, Cathal; Butler, Francis (Teagasc, 2001-08)
      The overall objective was to devise a rapid chilling system for the Irish lamb processing industry. The objective of the first trial was to assess the effect of ultra-rapid chilling in air at - 4ºC, -10ºC and -20ºC and subsequent ageing on the appearance and tenderness of lamb carcasses. The objective of the next trial was to investigate the effect of carcass splitting, which produces faster chilling rates and reduces skeletal constraint of muscles, on the tenderness of rapidly and conventionally chilled lamb. The next task was to compare the effects of immersion chilling and conventional air chilling on meat tenderness and evaporative weight loss in lamb carcasses. The next task was to assess the level of interest in industry. This required costings of the process and a survey of several lamb processors focusing on their perceptions of rapid chilling in general, its advantages and disadvantages, and the implications of adopting the new system. The final objective was to introduce the ultra-rapid chilling process to industry via a factory trial. Lambs were ultra-rapidly chilled and then exported to France for assessment.
    • The Irish Forest Soils Project and its Potential Contribution to the Assessment of Biodiversity

      Loftus, M; Bulfin, Michael; Farrelly, Niall; Fealy, Reamonn; Green, Stuart; Meehan, R; Radford, Toddy (Royal Irish Academy, 2002)
      The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has proposed methods and thematic areas for data collection that are appropriate to the evaluation of biodiversity. The Heritage Council has identified a paucity of data on habitats in Ireland. Within this context, we outline the Irish Forest Soils (IFS) element of the Forest Inventory and Planning System (FIPS) and present a detailed account of land-cover mapping, which is an important aspect of the project. The IFS project aims to produce a national thematic map of land cover using soft-copy photogrammetry, combined with satellite-image classification and field survey. This aspect of the IFS project generates data on land cover at different spatial and classification resolutions. We report on the progress made to date and present illustrative examples of the data sets. The UNEP proposals provide a useful framework within which to discuss the potential contribution of IFS data to the assessment of biodiversity.
    • The market for organic liquid milk in Ireland.

      Cowan, Cathal; Ni Ghraith, Dearbhla; Daly, Aidan (Teagasc, 2002-01)
      The key research question was ”what is the market potential in Ireland for organic liquid milk and related products up to 2006”? Denmark and Austria are among the most developed organic food markets in the world. Using the Diamond Model of factors contributing to competitiveness, detailed case studies of these countries were undertaken to identify the drivers in the growth of consumption of organic food and milk products. Market share for organic liquid milk in Ireland is less than 0.1% compared with 20% in Denmark and 9% in Austria. All the factors of the Diamond Model worked to grow the organic food market in Denmark and Austria. The Austrian and Danish Governments were the first in Europe to introduce legislation on organic farming and also subsidised farmers to bridge conversion to organic farming. The conventional milk sector in Ireland is very competitive but has not shown an interest in organics, whereas in Denmark the largest conventional milk processor is the main player. The small size of the Irish organic milk market means it is not a major area of rivalry at retail level. This contrasts with Denmark and Austria where retailers have driven the market. In Denmark, following approaches in 1993 from farmers’ representatives, the major retail group, FDB, lowered organic milk prices to entice consumers to switch from conventional milk. The main Danish milk processor successfully launched the ‘Harmonie’ organic brand and moved the market from niche to mainstream. In Austria, Billa, a major retailer, set market targets and introduced a high quality organic own-label brand. They encouraged farmers to switch and increase organic production by offering them five year contracts at fixed prices.
    • Factors shaping expenditure on meat and prepared meals

      Newman, Carol; Henchion, Maeve; Matthews, Alan (Teagasc, 2002-02)
      The factors shaping Irish households' expenditure decisions on meat and prepared meals are analysed using the two most recent datasets of the Irish Household Budget Survey (1987/8 and 1994/5). The motivation for the research stems from the changing pattern of food consumption, leading to a decline in the importance of price and income factors, and a simultaneous increase in the significance of socio-demographic factors, assumed to underpin consumers' tastes and preferences. Irish households' expenditure patterns on all meat, specific meat categories and prepared meals are analysed using tobit, double-hurdle and infrequency of purchase models.
    • Food choice and consumer concerns about animal welfare in Ireland

      Meehan, Hilary; Cowan, Cathal; McIntyre, Bridin (Teagasc, 2002-04)
      Consumer concerns about farm animal welfare and the impact of these concerns on food choice in Ireland were investigated. The aim was to identify and analyse the nature and level of consumer concern. The qualitative and quantitative studies demonstrated that although consumers are concerned about farm animal welfare, this concern is not a priority in food choice. Consumers use animal welfare as an indicator of other product attributes such as food safety, quality and healthiness, which they usually perceive as more important. Consequently, consumers equate good animal welfare standards with good food standards.
    • Development of a Strategic Approach for a Single EU Beef Market: An Evaluation of Changes in the EU Intervention system and Labelling Regulations in Relation to Irish Cattle Prices.

      O'Connell, John; Dunne, Liam; Shanahan, Ultan (Teagasc, 2003-01-01)
      The intervention system for beef in the EU has undergone major changes since its inception. These changes were introduced because of changing circumstances in the EU beef market and because of cost factors and inefficiencies associated with and arising from the intervention system itself. While justified from these perspectives it can be said that from the perspective of beef producers the system has changed from being a mechanism which aimed at and operated to achieve a producer Guide Price which in turn was defined as “……..the price which it is hoped to attain on average on the Community market for all the quantities marketed during a given marketing year” (Com 370, July 1976) to one which has abandoned all efforts at achieving a desirable producer price and which provides at best very short term stabilisation of price at its market level. The aim of this paper is to trace the major changes which have occurred to the intervention system and the concomitant price achievement of beef in general in the EU and especially that of Irish beef. These changes together with other market and policy factors occurring on and since 1996 have combined to give a historically poor price performance for Irish beef which despite the growing importance of direct payments is still of major significance in the incomes and welfare of beef producers.
    • Opportunities in the Irish foodservice sector for small manufacturers

      O'Connell, Sinead; Henchion, Maeve; Collins, Alan (Teagasc, 2004-09)
      The foodservice sector offers significant opportunities for some small-scale food manufacturers. This research provides information to help them exploit this opportunity through a survey of 100 food buyers in the hotel sub-sector.
    • Innovation in small food processing enterprises and dynamics of local development

      Mahon, Denise; Pitts, Eamonn (Teagasc, 2005-01)
      The extent of innovation in small food processing firms in the Border and South West regions of Ireland were examined as were the factors relating to innovation in these firms. Eighty-five percent of firms undertook some form of innovation in the five years preceding the study. Innovation within firms was related to the youth of the manager and of the firm itself and was also associated with investment in staff training and in Research and Development (R&D) by the firm and with numbers of qualified staff.
    • A quantitative risk assessment of E.coli 0157:H7 in Irish minced beef

      Duffy, Geraldine; O'Brien, Stephen; Carney, Eimear; Butler, Francis; Cummins, Enda; Nally, Padraig; Mahon, Denise; Henchion, Maeve; Cowan, Cathal (Teagasc, 2005-02)
      A national quantitative risk assessment was undertaken for minced beef in the Republic of Ireland. The objective was to estimate the probability of E. coli O157:H7 infection from consumption of Irish beef and to investigate the parts of the beef chain contributing most to the risk posed by this pathogen.The quantitative risk assessment was broken into 3 main modules: 1) production of boxed beef trimmings; 2) processing of trimmings and burger formation and 3) retail/domestic consumption phase. Key points in each module (beef hide, beef trimmings and beef products at retail) were validated using data derived from microbiology sampling at beef abattoirs, supermarkets and butchers’ shops in Ireland.
    • An assessment of the Irish speciality food enterprises’ use of the internet as a marketing tool

      Canavan, Orla; Henchion, Maeve; O'Reilly, Seamus (Teagasc, 2005-04)
      This study set out to explore the role of the Internet as a marketing tool for Irish speciality food producers and to research on-line speciality food sales as a business opportunity. The project achieved this through a combination of consumer focus groups, a producer web audit, producer depth interviews and an e-mailed on-line producer survey. Irish consumers acknowledged potential for on-line sales of Irish speciality food products to export and gift markets; however they could not see significant advantages for on-line sales in the domestic market. Experience with the product (and consequent importance of the purchase experience), the high delivery cost of an already premium priced product and difficulties associated with receipt of deliveries were identified as the main reasons for not purchasing on-line.
    • An Assessment of the Irish Speciality Food Enterprises’ use of the Internet as a Marketing Tool

      Canavan, Orla; Henchion, Maeve; O’Reilly, Seamus (Teagasc, 2005-04-01)
      This study set out to explore the role of the Internet as a marketing tool for Irish speciality food producers and to research on-line speciality food sales as a business opportunity. The project achieved this through a combination of consumer focus groups, a producer web audit, producer depth interviews and an e-mailed on-line producer survey. Irish consumers acknowledged potential for on-line sales of Irish speciality food products to export and gift markets; however they could not see significant advantages for on-line sales in the domestic market. Experience with the product (and consequent importance of the purchase experience), the high delivery cost of an already premium priced product and difficulties associated with receipt of deliveries were identified as the main reasons for not purchasing on-line.
    • Supply Chains Linking Food SMEs in Lagging Rural Regions in Ireland

      Henchion, Maeve; McIntyre, Bridin; Meredith, David; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 2005-04-01)
      This report reflects the Irish contribution to a 3-year EU-funded research project, SUPPLIERS, which was concerned with the development, innovation, competitiveness and sustainability of food SMEs in lagging rural regions(LRRs) of the EU and Poland. It summarises the results of the research conducted in Ireland, evaluates these findings and makes recommendations to benefit food SMEs located in Ireland’s LRRs. Two regions were selected for study in Ireland. These were the West, comprising counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon, and the Northwest, comprising counties Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim. Both are classified as Objective 1 regions reflecting their predominantly rural character, economic disadvantage and relative remoteness from urban centres. Three food products were selected for detailed study in each region. Products selected in the West were mushrooms, farmed salmon and speciality foods and, in the Northwest, organic produce, farmed shellfish and prepared consumer foods. This product range encompassed a range of chains from local to international, integrated to fragmented, direct to indirect, providing a basis for comparison and evaluation of different chain structures. This summary report concentrates on the results of four surveys carried out over the course of the study. Producers, intermediaries, commercial customers and support institutions were surveyed.