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The day of reckoning has finally come and today the four intrepid BDCI Men in Lycra depart on their 800km fundraising cycle around meat plants in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.  The four riders are:
*     Mark Allan, General Manager, Dawn Meats Cardington
*     John Mercer, Chief Livestock Adviser, England and Wales, NFU
*     Stuart Roberts, Agriculture and Livestock Director, ABP
*     Eoin Ryan, Sales and Marketing Manager, AIBP
The BDCI is the meat industry’s very own trade charity and it exists to provide support for those who work (or have previously worked), in the meat industry, but have fallen on hard times, regardless of their age or circumstances.  In addition to securing sponsorship and raising funds for the charity, a key objective will be to generate awareness of the work of the charity to potential beneficiaries en route, so the ride will take in a number of meat plants along the way in order to do so. Planned stops include:

15/08/11 ABP, Shrewsbury → Randall Parker → Dunbia, Llanybydder
16/08/11 Llanybydder → Dawn Cross Hands, Pembroke
17/08/11 Pembrokeshire Show → Fishguard Ferry Terminal → Rosslare, Enniscorthy
18/08/11 Enniscorthy → Slaney Meats, Bunclody → Dawn Farm Foods, Naas → Dublin
19/08/11 Bord Bia, Dublin → Kepak, Clonea → Hilton, Drogheda → ABP, Ardee → Hackballscross
20/08/11 Hackballscross → ABP, Newry → Belfast
21/08/11 Stranraer → Ayr
22/08/11 AK Stoddart → Vion Food → NFUS → QMS → Edinburgh
Thank you to all those companies and individuals who have already donated sponsorship funds in support of the ride.  If you would like to show your support please click through to our Just Giving page;
Alternatively you can send a cheque, made payable to Butchers' and Drovers' Charitable Institution which can be posted to:
Sally Ross, BDCI, 105 St Peter's Street, St Albans, Herts. AL1 3EJ.  If paying by cheque please indicate that the donation is for the BDCI Men in Lycra Cycle.
We are deeply conscious that these are challenging times for many and are therefore doubly grateful for all support given.
Finally, if you haven't yet done so do have a look at the riders' blog - - which has been kindly set up by Ed Bedington, editor of the Meat Trades Journal.  Rarely has such zeal been shown in preparing for a sporting event.....


Paul Nolan - Dawn Meats pictured at the launch of of the Tullamore Show. 

New Educational Features for the AIB National Livestock Show

The Tullamore Show & AIB National Livestock Show have just launched plans for a new feature and addition to the event, in the form of a ‘Meat Village’, which will further enhance an already packed programme for the show this year.  The show, which attracted an attendance in the region of 60,000 in 2010, is taking place on Sunday 14th August next, on Butterfield Estate, Blueball, Tullamore. 

The agenda for the National Livestock Show has, to date, focussed mainly on the competitive elements involving cattle and sheep.  This year however, the committee are very excited with developing the programme to include an educational and better practice theme, which will be termed ‘ The Meat Village’ and will include contributions from a number of stakeholders, including meat factories, food producers, retailers, exhibitors and consumers.  
The project is already attracting the interest of a number of international processors.

This unique development will be a broad spectrum educational project, targeting the agricultural and general community, updating them on many of the changing elements of the industry and lifestyle.  The stakeholders will provide opportunity for processors to engage with the producers, while highlighting the requirements for the market place, producers sharing knowledge with the retailer and they in turn whetting the palate of the consumers with mouth-watering tastes of best value products.  Practically all the main meat factories have already confirmed their plans for involvement in this very worthwhile project.

The competitive element of the AIB National Livestock Show will also benefit from this new project, particularly in the commercial cattle classes.  The criteria for a number of the classes have changed and will now be based on age and weight, while also requiring to be from Bord Bia Quality Assured herds.  However, due to the huge support of the meat factories, complying with these new requirements will be well rewarded as the prizefund in the commercial cattle section alone has increased by almost 50%.

The extensive trade stand exhibition area is already filling up and includes a number of new enterprises and exhibitors.

For further information contact the show office on 0579352141 or

Release 8th June 2011

Dawn Teagasc Open Day

on 08 July, 2011




Over 1,000 farmers from all over Ireland interested in beef production from dairy offspring attended the Teagasc/Dawn Meats Open Day at the Teagasc Research Centre, Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford on Thursday, 7 July.

Research is taking place into different beef production systems for male calves from the dairy herd finished at five different ages. At the open day, the large attendance of farmers was informed of the latest developments with the production systems being trialled in terms of production efficiency and profitability.

The panel discussion at the open day opened with a presentation from Dawn Meats Agriculture Manager, Sarah Long, on the additional off-site trials run by Dawn Meats with farmers involved in contract rearing and finishing. This was followed by a lively and informative discussion from which the main points to emerge were:

• There are niche market opportunities for 8 and 12 month veal
• Animal finished at 16 months is the current market requirement but further work is ongoing to ensure the economics of this system can be a positive option for finishers
• Calf costs, feed price and beef price are all important factors in deciding which route to go down
• Calf selection is crucial

Blueprints for dairy beef production are critical for generating profit from dairy calf-to-beef systems. The supply of dairy bull calves will increase substantially with the growing global demand for dairy products and the abolition of milk quotas in 2015. The dairy beef research in Johnstown Castle is looking at performance and economics of finishing dairy calves under different production systems; 8, 12, 16 18 and 22 months of age.

Although the study is ongoing, Robert Prendiville, Teagasc Beef Researcher leading the project, said; “Results to date indicate that production systems evaluated are highly sensitive to concentrate input price”. He also outlined how further research is exploring reducing costs within these beef production systems.

Dawn Meats are currently investigating other opportunities to add value to calves from the dairy herd.





Johnstown Castle Open Day
Dairy Bull Beef Production
Thursday 10.30am 7th July

Set against the backdrop of milk quota removal in 2015, this event is a must for all commercial beef farmers interested in maximizing the potential of beef from the dairy herd.

Open Day will feature:
 Up-to-date results from a range of bull beef systems
 Economics
 Calf rearing experience with large numbers and animal health management
 Grassland Management for calves and grazing bulls

Lunchtime Discussion Forum: ‘Lessons from trials to date’
Information Booth featuring Dawn Meats, Teagasc, Bord Bia, ICBF and AHI
Admission Free
Teagasc acknowledge the support of Dawn Meats for this dairy beef day

Details on:

London’s Evening Standard recently carried out a survey of the city’s Top Steakhouses;  two of the top three are serving our premium brand steaks.

At Dawn we go to great lengths to ensure world class steaks for our customers and this vote of confidence is very much appreciated by all our team.

No 1. Hawksmoor Seven Dials – 11 Langley Street, WC2 

No 2. Barbecoa, 20 New Change Passage, EC4

Ref: Evening Standard Magazine 13th May Article - “Top Three”

Spring Lamb

on 30 May, 2011

We will be launching our Spring Lamb selection of boneless products under the Natures Meadow brand in April. This will be used to market our Irish boneless lamb cuts into the premium food service markets in Europe. 

It offers a complete range of fresh vacuum packed lamb primal cuts to continental retailers. Dawn Meats specialises in serving all EU markets with the widest possible range of choices including innovative butchery and packing formats for our retail partners. We will be working hard to ensure that Nature’s Meadow will soon become a European recognisable brand for Quality lamb. The ‘Natural - Traditional - Sustainable’ image will be complemented by the top quality customer service that Dawn Meats prides itself on.

On the home front Tesco Ireland are launching Spring Lamb for Easter under Tesco Finest West of Ireland Lamb. This will all be supplied by Dawn Meats Ballyhaunis. All the lamb from Easter onwards on the Tesco butcher counters will be sold as “Spring Lamb” Finest West of Ireland Lamb. Five different primal lamb cuts will be sold.


Dawn Meats recently hosted members of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists with a visit to the Group’s Headquarters in Waterford. 

Following the formal welcome and outline of the Groups operations by Paul Nolan, Group Development Manager the visitors were given a tour of the facilities and a beef cuts demonstration highlighting modern market requirements before visiting the Costello Farm family in Wexford who are members of the Dawn Dairy Beef Club.  The Costello’s are rearing 140 dairy bull calves from 2-12 weeks of age before Dawn place them with specialist Finishers in the region once the animals have reached a minimum of 110 kgs.

Following their morning excursions the Journalist were transported back to the plant on the Passage ferry where they enjoyed some marketing theatre surrounding a healthy lunch at which Group Chef Dermot Slade gave a great insight into the research and innovation process involved in the continuous requirements for new product ideas from Dawns major retail customers.

The allegations made by Unite and WCTU are entirely false and without foundation. The company is fully compliant with all relevant legislation and has a documented and robust grievance procedure in place for its employees as part of their employment contracts. Health and Safety (H&S) is of utmost importance to the company, which has established H&S committees with employee representation and there have been no breaches of Health and Safety law. In these difficult economic times, the company has succeeded in creating 200 jobs at this site in the last two years. The company which has operated at Grannagh for the last 26 years looks forward to continue working with its employees in building the business into the future. 


Issued by Paul Nolan Dawn Meats 051 309200 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Waterford Festival of Food, Dungarvan - Sunday 17th April. 

Why not visit our Premium Butcher and Dawn Meats Select stalls under the Dawn Meats gazebo and sample some of our best products.

For more info log on to:

Dawn Meats is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Long as Group Agricultural Manager.

Sarah is from a beef farming background where her family has specialised in calf rearing and finishing.  Having graduated from Harper Adams University College with a degree in Agriculture and Agricultural Marketing and a Masters degree in Food Marketing and Quality, Sarah was a recipient of a Nuffield Farming Scholarship and travelled to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South America looking at beef and lamb supply chains. Sarah has considerable work experience in meat processing, farm quality assurance and the retail sector in both Ireland and the UK. 

Since joining the company in January, Sarah is already co-ordinating the Dawn Meats Dairy Beef Club calf rearing project, Dawn Save Our Suckler Club and has visited Canada with Paul Nolan (Dawn Meats) to look at beef finishing, breeding and processing.

Sarah’s first initiative was the introduction of the Dawn Meats Liver Fluke report whereby for the first time in Ireland the farmer will know whether their livestock had fluke with the details displayed with their Dawn Meats remittance.

Despite her quick jump in the deep end, Sarah is looking forward to being involved with a number of agricultural initiatives the Dawn Meats Group intend rolling out over the next 18 months and beyond.

Media Queries

For all Media Queries contact : 

Murray Consultants Ltd

40 Lower Baggot Street
Dublin 8. D02 Y793


Mr Doug Keatinge
Senior Account Director
Tel: 00353 01 498 0379
Mob: 00353 86 037 4163
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Ms Jill Farrelly
Tel: 00353 01 498 0300
Mob: 00353 87 738 6608
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