Supplier Spotlight: Foyle Food Group
British Beef Week is taking place from 23rd-30th April, celebrating the work that British farmers do to support sustainable production practices.
To mark the occasion, we sat down with British beef supplier, Foyle, to understand the importance of promoting British beef; as well as the company's commitment to reduce their carbon footprint whilst protecting traditional farming methods.
Family owned, and with over 40 years of expertise within the beef industry, Foyle Food Group are the single largest beef processor in the UK. Foyle handle 7,000 cattle per week across their five branches over the UK and Ireland, and are committed to promoting the practices that protect and regenerate the land through their sustainability pledge.
From farm to fork, Foyle have a close relationship with their producers, and use the latest technology to ensure safety and traceability are adhered to throughout the whole process. With specialist DNA technology, Foyle are able to trace back to each individual animal, including a full history of their breed, age and health.
Processed using state of the art facilities, Foyle prepare their beef through four divisions: primary processing, further processing, dry aging and eco. Any beef that is sold by Foyle is slaughtered and de-boned within the group, enabling a short and robust supply chain.
A pledge to sustainability
Foyle believe sustainability and transparency should be at the forefront of their business and aim to carry out sustainable practices through four pillars: pasture, product, planet and people.
In 2015, Foyle pledged to meet a target of reducing their carbon footprint by 20% which was then achieved in 2020 after rigorous testing. The company operates with a 'circular economy', which contributes to their success, eliminating waste from production processes through reusing by-products. Their Campsie plant in Northern Ireland turns inedible food waste into feedstock to fuel machines, as the methane gas produced powers the gas generator, providing the plant with renewable energy, consequently reducing resource consumptions.
The launch of the dedicated Producers Club in 1996 enabled a closer relationship to be built between Foyle and beef producers, to encourage sustainability through animal welfare and nutrition, biodiversity, crop rotation and grazing paddocks. This partnership with producers means Foyle can provide high quality, great tasting products with safety and traceability at the forefront of their operations.
The Foyle and JJ partnership
Foyle supply JJ's with three cuts of steak (fillet, ribeye and sirloin), and a plump beef roasting joint - all sourced from the Gloucester region of the UK.
Chief product officer at JJ, Sezer, explained why the Foyle and JJ partnership works so well - "Our customers care about where their steak has come from - that's why we are proud to work with Foyle. British beef suppliers have high welfare standards, are fully traceable and create less carbon footprint. Not only do our customers love the flavour and texture of our fresh Foyle steak, buying locally also supports British farmers which helps to keep our countryside blooming."
We asked Shaun, UK trade manager at Foyle, what his advice would be to restaurants looking to add steak to their menu, "Having a story is key to the successful launch of beef on a menu. This story could focus on a variety of attributes including specific breeds, aging profiles (e.g. 21 days aged), and whether the beef is locally produced."
The importance of locally sourced food has grown in significance, especially as a result of the pandemic. Covid highlighted the value of locally sourced products and sustainable food systems, with 51% of consumers wanting to understand more about what is in their food.*
Foyle are a prime example of a British supplier that can meet those demands, providing clear communication on traceability and sustainability. We are proud to partner with Foyle to bring British beef to our customers.