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ABP Food Group
ABP is one of Europe's leading beef processors.
ABP is one of Europe's leading beef processors.

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ABP Food Group in £22 million renewable energy project

A £22 million investment by ABP Food Group’s renewable division in a green energy plant will produce enough sustainable energy to power the equivalent of 12,000 homes. ABP’s renewables division, Olleco, has just opened the new 15 MW Anaerobic Digestion facility in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

The ABP Food Group facility is located adjacent to the Arla dairy, allowing the dairy to become a zero carbon milk processing facility.

Robert Behan, MD of Olleco, said the new facility, is an excellent example of the circular economy in action, with multiple supply chain partners working together to deliver a truly sustainable outcome.

“This state of the art Olleco facility will convert in excess of 100,000 tonnes of waste into heat, power and bio-methane for export to the national grid, and bio-fertiliser for both of ABP Food Group’s and Arla’s farmer suppliers.”

“Sustainability is a key priority right across the ABP Food Group. The company has invested and implemented innovative sustainability measures that are world class, trail blazing and meet the exceptionally high targets – to reduce the environmental footprint of our business – we have set ourselves,” Mr Behan explained.

ABP Food Group is recognised as an industry leader when it comes to sustainable practices and environmental initiatives. In 2015 the company opened the world’s first certified carbon neutral abattoir in Ellesmere where waste material from the food processing operation is used in conjunction with used cooking oil to provide the energy requirements on site. Earlier this year, ABP achieved triple accreditation from The Carbon Trust for the third consecutive year and is one of only a handful of companies to have achieved such accreditation.

Olleco, the renewables division of ABP Food Group, collects waste food and cooking oil from the retail and food service sector and converts this waste into bio diesel, bio gas and bio fertiliser. The company employs over 600 people across the UK.

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ABP UK win the prestigious IGD Employee Wellbeing Award
Last night (Tuesday, 3rd October), more than 600 senior executives gathered at the IGD Awards to raise a toast to the food and industry’s achievements over the last 12 months.

ABP UK received the award for its anti-modern slavery campaign. According to ABP, it’s estimated that at least 20,000 victims of modern slavery live and work in the UK. ABP has launched its own anti-modern slavery campaign to help its people and partners understand the issue, tackle it at the root cause and prevent any form of exploitation entering its workplace.

Vanessa Di Cuffa, UK People Change Director for ABP said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award on behalf of all colleagues across our UK business. Our campaign has focused on raising awareness and ensuring all of our colleagues and supply chain partners have a full understanding of this issue so that they are equipped to understand the issue and confident to deal with it, in any of its forms. There is absolutely no place for any exploitation in the work place and I hope that our work, which is ongoing, will go some way towards tackling this problem”.

Steve Godwin, Head of External and Government Affairs, Danone, said: “ABP UK’s Anti-Modern Slavery initiative is truly pioneering. It focuses on an issue for too long ignored in our society and has the ability to bring about real, country-wide change.

“It is innovative and different, and has achieved measurable, positive results for the business. It has positively impacted the lives of its workers on both a professional and personal level.

“This initiative has the potential to influence the way that we approach employability throughout the supply chain and especially in the traditionally tough environment of the manufacturing world. I look forward to learning more about the impacts on ABP itself and on the world around it.”

Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD Chief Executive, said: “For more than 25 years, the IGD Awards have celebrated the achievements of our truly world-class industry. These are hotly contested awards and this year the bar was set as high as ever. Yet again we received a very large number of entries, which is testament to the innovative, high-quality work taking place across our industry.

“We’re living through challenging times, yet our industry never fails to impress in its determination to continue surprising and delighting shoppers. Many congratulations to all our winners and finalists.”

About the IGD Awards

The winners of the IGD Awards were selected by a panel of industry experts, including representatives from IGD and companies from across the food and grocery supply chain. For the first time ever in 2017, three awards were voted for by shoppers – the IGD Food-to-Go Operator of the Year, the IGD Online Retailer of the Year and the IGD Retailer of the Year – through IGD’s ShopperVista service, the barometer of the British grocery shopper.

IGD is an education and training charity for the food and grocery industry that undertakes research for the benefit of the public.

For a full list of the winners of the IGD Awards 2017, please visit

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ABP showcase at Anuga 2017. We look forward to seeing you there.

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ABP Ireland Secures 7 Accolades at National Food Awards

ABP Ireland has won seven awards including two gold and four silver awards, at the 10th annual Blas na hEireann, the Irish Food Awards for quality Irish produce on the island of Ireland. The awards were held in Dingle on 30th September. Blas na hEireann is the biggest blind tasting of Irish produce.

ABP Food Group submitted entries to all categories in the beef section: striploin steak; rib eye steak; fillet steak and beef other- meatballs /burgers. In total, seven of ABP’s products qualified for the finals and all seven picked up awards.

Research has proven that the Blas accreditation has the highest recognition amongst Irish consumers. For this year’s competition, there were 2,500 entries overall in all products across all categories.

Results of the ABP Products across the four beef categories:
• Bronze – Specially Selected Tipperary Dry Aged Black Angus 30 day matured Striploin
• Silver – Specially Selected Black Angus 28 day matured Striploin
• Silver – Specially Selected Black Angus 28 day matured Fillet
Rib Eye
• Gold – Specially Selected Tipperary Dry Aged Black Angus 30 day matured Rib Eye
• Silver – Specially Selected Black Angus 28 day matured Rib Eye
Beef Other – Meatballs/Burgers
• Gold- Butchers Choice 3% low fat Lean burger gluten free
• Silver – Platinum Prime Sirloin Steak Burger Gluten Free

Commenting on the Group’s success at Blas na hEireann, Eoin Ryan, Sales Manager, ABP said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won these indigenous awards. The judging process for these awards is driven and guided by taste. This highlights the quality of our Ultra Tender process which currently sees ABP beef served in over 200 Michelin starred restaurants across the world. The company has already been acknowledged at previous awards for our quality food produce and this is a further endorsement to the hard work and quality produced by the ABP team in Cahir.”

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Initial results from the Gene Ireland Dairy Beef Programme, a major multi-year collaborative research study involving ABP Food Group, the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and Teagasc indicates that improved genetics in the dairy herd can improve carcass weight and feed intake for the beef farmer without compromising calving difficulty or gestation length for the dairy farmer. The first animals have been slaughtered with initial analysis suggesting a difference of between €150 and €200 per slaughtered animal between individual AI sires.

The research is being conducted at a 280 acre ABP Research and Demonstration Farm in County Wexford which is set up to resemble a typical beef farm and is worked by an experienced beef farming family living on the farm.

The main aims of the study are to:
• Improve the efficiency and profitability of dairy herd sourced beef production.
• Develop a Dairy Beef selection index to maximise dairy and beef on farm performance.
• Identify the most suitable beef bull genetics for crossing on dairy herds.
• Genetically improve main breeds supplying beef bulls to dairy herds.
Dr Andrew Cromie, Technical Director, ICBF, commented: “The programme is now delivering real benefits for the beef and dairy industries, by helping ICBF accurately identify the beef sires that have proven traits for use on the dairy herd in the future. All of the data collected on the participating AI sires, including their progeny, is publically available on the ICBF website, thereby ensuring that farmers and the wider industry can have absolute confidence regarding the accuracy and independence of the genetic evaluations being generated as part of the study.”
Chief Operations Officer at ABP Finbarr McDonnell, said the findings are as a result of a culmination of three years collaborative work between ABP, ICBF and Teagasc. “These are the first set of results from this multi-year initiative and they already represent significant success. Having a research and demonstration farm has allowed us to consistently monitor and record valuable data on all aspects of animal development right through from calf to slaughter. The farm is a typical Irish beef farm, which ensures today’s findings are relevant in a broader context. These findings are now available to farmers through ICBF and Teagasc so that they can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing sires for the dairy herd.”

Padraig French, Head of Livestock Research at Teagasc Moorpark, said: “The ongoing expansion of the national dairy herd is significantly increasing the supply of beef x dairy calves and these are becoming the dominant supply of prime beef from Irish grass based beef production. The decisions made by dairy farmers when selecting beef bulls to use on their dairy herd has a profound effect on the overall efficiency of the calf to beef enterprise. We need to ensure that dairy farmers have available to them sires that can meet their requirements for short gestation and easy calving but also have good terminal traits for the beef farmers that rear those calves.”

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ABP team up with Men’s Health on new range

ABP have today announced that they have entered into a brand licensing agreement with Men’s Health – the UK’s leading men’s lifestyle magazine and website. The arrangement will see ABP produce a range of health-focused products under the Men’s Health Kitchen brand for sale in a number of leading retailers. The first products, Lean Pork Sausages and Lean Chicken Chipolatas both contain 60% meat and up to 29% haricot beans and so give a high protein sausage but with less than 3% fat and a relatively high fibre content.

The sausages will be available in 400 Asda stores nationwide from the 18th September.

Commenting on the announcement, Darren Jones, Commercial Director, ABP UK said, “We are pleased to announce our partnership with Men’s Health Magazine. This is a first to market launch for a premium health brand and will offer genuine newness and innovation into the meat category. I’m excited to be a part of a dynamic collaboration with the Men’s Health team, working together to satisfy our shoppers growing demand for healthy meat products.”

Commenting on the launch Alun Williams, Group Publishing Director of Men’s Health, said, “Men’s Health is the biggest selling men’s lifestyle magazine both in the UK and worldwide and we are focusing our knowledge on developing food ranges which give consumers healthier choices. By combining our expertise with that of industry leader ABP we have created a range of meat products which do not have the high fat content of regular offerings but are high in protein and still taste delicious.”

The full product range which will be available in fresh or frozen formats include:

Lean Pork Sausages with Haricot Beans, Nutmeg & Parsley
Lean Chicken Chipolatas with Haricot Beans, Paprika & Fennel
Beef & Chickpea Mince
Beef & Lentil Burger
Chilli Burger
Beef & Haricot Bean Meatballs
Beef & Quinoa Meatballs

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ABP Ireland Reaches For the Stars 21 times at the Great Taste Awards

ABP Ireland has been awarded 21 stars at the prestigious annual Great Taste 2017 Awards in London, which is run by the Guild of Fine Food.

Great Taste is the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink awards initiative, whose highly respected seal of approval is recognised globally. This year, a panel of 500 industry experts were tasked to judge 12,366 top quality products, to which they awarded 4,347 star ratings.

As part of a highly impressive total of eighteen awards ABP Ireland received two stars awards for three of its products: Tipperary Gold Dry Aged Certified Irish Angus Rib Eye Joint, Platinum Prime Certified Irish Shorthorn Rib Eye Steaks, and Lomo Extra Maturado. The company also received 14 one star awards for products including: Platinum Prime Certified Irish Dexter Striploin Steaks, Tipperary Gold Dry Aged Certified Irish Hereford Striploin Joint, Tipperary gold Dry Aged Certified Irish Hereford Rib Eye Joint, Platinum Prime Certified Irish Dexter Rib Eye Steaks, Platinum Prime Certified Irish Dexter Fillet Joint, Platinum Prime Certified Irish Shorthorn Fillet joint and Certified Irish Angus Sirloin Steak.

Commenting on the Group’s achievement, Eoin Ryan, European Sales Manager, ABP Food Group said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won these star awards, which are referred to in the trade as the Oscars for food and drink products. This is further endorsement of our Ultra Tender process which currently sees ABP beef served in over 100 Michelin starred restaurants across the world. This is one of the world’s most coveted food awards, and to have secured twenty one star awards for eighteen products is deserved recognition of the hard work and quality produced by the teams across all of our Irish plants.”

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ABP Ireland were quadruple winners at the prestigious annual International Taste and Quality Institute (iTQi) Awards. The Brussels based institute is a leading global authority when it comes to testing and promoting superior food and drink products. The 135 judges are selected from leading European culinary and sommeliers associations.

ABP Ireland received three golden star awards for its Tipperary Dry Aged Black Angus Rib Eye Steak and Hereford Dry Aged Rib Eye Steak products. The company’s Hereford Dry Aged Striploin Steak and Tipperary Dry Aged Black Angus Striploin Steak received two golden star awards.

Commenting on the result, Eoin Ryan, European Sales Manager, ABP Food Group said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won these awards. This is further endorsement of our Ultra Tender process which has seen ABP beef in over 100 Michelin starred restaurants across the world. Today’s news is particularly satisfying given the European nature of the judging process and the fact that we supply product in to a number of Europe’s leading retailers and food service providers.”

The winning products were produced at ABP Cahir the newly upgraded processing facility which was officially opened in 2015 following an investment of €50 million. More than 600 people are employed by ABP Cahir, which makes a €200 million contribution annually to the local economy.

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A World First - ABP Food Group receives Carbon Trust Triple Certification for Third Time

ABP Food Group has become the first food processor in the world to achieve triple certification to the Carbon Trust Standard for the third consecutive time. The Carbon Trust Standard is the world’s leading independent certification awarded to organisations that can demonstrate they are taking effective action to tackle their environmental impact, verifying reductions in carbon emissions, water use and waste output. It recognises good management and year-on-year improvements in sustainability performance. The achievement is driven by ABP Food Group’s “Doing More with Less” sustainability strategy, which initiated a number of ambitious targets to be achieved by 2020 with a view to substantially reducing ABP Food Group’s environmental footprint.

Commenting on achieving triple certification to the Carbon Trust Standard for the third consecutive time, Dean Holroyd, Group Technical and Sustainability Director at ABP Food Group, said: “In 2014, ABP Food Group was the first food processor globally to achieve this prestigious recognition for the progress made on sustainability across our business. To now achieve it three times in a row is tangible proof of our industry leading standards and the real progress we have made in reducing our environmental footprint.”

John Newton, Associate Director at the Carbon Trust, added: “Britain and Ireland produce some of the world’s most sustainable meat. Within this market, ABP Food Group has once again demonstrated its leadership credentials through achieving significant ongoing reductions in its own environmental impact. We are delighted to recognise this by awarding recertification to the Carbon Trust Standard, thanks to the company’s achievements in once again cutting carbon emissions, water use and waste from its operations.”

In 2015, ABP opened the world’s most sustainable beef processing facilities at Ellesmere in Shropshire. The site generates all of its own heating and hot water needs and up to 100% of its electricity requirements from bio-fuel produced as a by-product of the beef processing operation. Last year, all of ABP’s Irish sites received the international energy management standard ISO 50001 in recognition of the processes implemented to improve energy efficiency.

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BBC Countryfile Presenter & Farmer Adam Henson Attends Balmoral Show As Special Guest Of ABP

Suppliers and their families of ABP Food Group in Newry and Lurgan enjoyed an exclusive event with BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson at this year’s Balmoral Show. The event took place on the ABP stand where the presenter gave his views on agriculture as well as how he combines his love of farming with a very successful TV career. Adam was selected from 3,500 applicants in 2001 to become a presenter for BBC Countryfile, putting his farming knowledge to good use.

Hundreds of ABP suppliers from across Northern Ireland visited the ABP stand at this year’s where they had the opportunity to catch up ABP colleagues from Newry and Lurgan. ABP Northern Ireland is a platinum sponsor of the Balmoral Show which attracted over 100,000 visitors this year.
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