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Ireland beef processors gain access to China with three factories approved

17 April, 2018, 05:15 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Leitrim TD Martin Kenny welcomes Chinese beef deal

The minister made the comments as he spoke on RTE Radio 1's Morning Ireland show, delivering the news that the Chinese market has been opened to Irish beef exports.

Both China and the U.S. had banned imports of beef from the European Union in 2000 due to fears over BSE (mad cow disease).

The country is Ireland's third largest market - a year ago our agri-food exports there were worth almost a billion Euro.

The minister said: "I firmly believe that our beef industry can and will compete effectively in the Chinese market and I look forward to the opportunities that this access will bring". Since then Chinese officials have been inspecting Irish beef producers to make sure that they meet the required standards.

Ireland was granted a licence to sell beef in the United States three years ago.

CEO Tara McCarthy said: "Bord Bia, and in particular, our Shanghai office, has been actively planning and preparing for today's breakthrough, and we are now well-positioned and ready to maximize this significant opportunity for Irish beef exporters".

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has announced the opening of the Chinese beef market to exports from Ireland.

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The minister was confident that this development would prove beneficial and he was excited about the prospects it offered to the Irish beef sector.

The demand for meat products in China has grown rapidly in recent years, and the country now consumes one-quarter of the world's supply.

Frozen boneless beef accounts for about 80 per cent of these imports.

When asked what the message is now to Irish farmers, he said: "The message is, there are exacting demands in worldwide markets and here is another really, really important market - probably the single biggest in volume terms - which is recognising that we are capable of meeting those exacting and demanding standards".

"In addition to this first tranche of approvals, I am hopeful that a number of other Irish beef plants will not be too far behind", he added.

Average Chinese beef consumption per capita is 4kg, compared to 19kg in Ireland, so there is potential for expansion.

Mr Creed said he would lead a trade mission to China next month to further build on Ireland's trade relationships and continue the dialogue with the Chinese government.

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