Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

China to allow Irish beef access to country

China to allow Irish beef access to country

Minister Creed said that despite the long and "exacting" process of gaining approval by the Chinese authorities, it represented a "powerful endorsement of Ireland's high standards by the Chinese administration". Wexford, and Donegal Meat Processors.

"The Department of Agriculture and the Minister must ensure that emergencies like the fodder crisis do not affect Ireland's ability to supply new markets and I urge the Department to implement an adequate monitoring of conditions affecting the sector and not risk a disruption of supply due to weather or feed crises".

"The Chinese market will be a key factor in our response to Brexit".

Kieran Fitzgerald Bord Bia and Ray Li, Chinalight Resources.

Bord Bia, the state agency responsible for promoting Irish food overseas, said it had been actively planning and preparing for today's announcement. All of the visiting Chinese delegates had the opportunity to visit Irish beef farms and processers, giving them a first-hand experience and insight into Irish food production.

Bord Bia has welcomed the announcement saying Ireland is the first European beef exporter to secure access to China.

They said an average annual increase of just 1kg per capita equates to an additional 1.38 million tonnes of beef per annum, and by 2020, it is estimated Chinese consumers will eat close to 9 million tonnes of beef.

Irish Creamery and Milk Supplier Association chief Pat McCormack was similarly wary, saying the association's members "would only judge the development a success if it added to farmer margins".

Ireland is to have access for frozen boneless beef. However, work was still continuing to open up the new market to a further five plants which have already been audited including ABP Nenagh, Kepak Clonee, Liffey Meats, Dawn Meats Charleville and Kildare Chilling.

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.

Ireland's agri-food exports to China have increased about five-fold from around 200 million euros ($247.73 million) in 2010 to almost $1.24 billion past year, which Creed said, "has been a remarkable achievement and underlines the importance of the Chinese market".

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