Citing the awards that Moira-based Hannan Meats has received over the past number of years would, in all truth, resemble the listings in a New York telephone directory, such is the myriad of food prizes the business has now amassed. All of these accolades are totally justified and – what’s more – each has helped raise the profile of Northern Ireland’s beef and other livestock sectors.
The man behind the company is Peter Hannan. A native of County Kildare, he is both an innovator and marketer in equal measure. Spend five minutes in his company and you will quickly realise that he is totally passionate about the tremendous opportunities that exist to promote, internationally, the beef, lamb and poultry produced on local farms.
For years we have heard about the need for our food industry to add value. And for years, most of our processing operations stuck with what they knew best – providing commodity products for the world’s wholesale markets. Peter Hannan, however, is the exception to that rule. Operating on his own initiative, he has succeeded in re-writing the script when it comes to marketing the quality meats that are the hallmark of the livestock farming sector in Ireland.
Where beef is concerned, his success has emanated from a belief that our native breeds of cattle – Hereford, Angus and Shorthorn – are the forgotten jewels in the crown, when it comes to defining the perfect eating experience. His latest initiative is centred on the use of an authentic Himalayan salt chamber to dry cuts of meat derived from Shorthorn cattle, bred and reared on Glenarm Estate in County Antrim. And, no doubt, the years ahead will be marked by a host of even more exciting ideas from Hannan Meats.