China to allow Irish beef access to country

Lester Mason
April 17, 2018

It has been confirmed that the way has been cleared for Irish beef exports to commence to the Chinese market, with the formal approval of the first three Irish beef processing plants.

They banned beef from the European Union and USA during the BSE crisis in 2000, and while that ban was officially lifted three years ago, trade still hasn't resumed.

The opening of the Chinese market to Irish beef exports is "an important breakthrough", according to Meat Industry Ireland (MII) director, Cormac Healy.

'The opening of Irish beef access is testimony to our industry's strength, reputation and proven track record in the Chinese market, ' she added.

Creed said the opening of the market will provide "excellent" opportunities for Irish farmers and processors and is a key development amid the uncertainties linked to Brexit.

Minister Creed also highlighted that Ireland's agri-food exports to China have increased roughly five-fold from around €200 million in 2010 to almost €1 billion past year.

All of these meat factories have succeeded in satisfying the most exacting production standards demanded by the Chinese and are the first European beef factories to gain access to the Chinese market.

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

As a result of increasing urbanisation and higher disposable income, consumer demand for premium imported beef is forecast to rise over the coming years, which could see Irish agri-food exports increase dramatically.

Representatives of the meat and agriculture industries have welcomed the news.

Trade growth between Ireland and China clocked up a bigger percentage growth than with any other country a year ago, at 37 per cent.

"Over 50% of our beef goes to the United Kingdom, over 250,000 tonnes, so obviously given the fact that we don't know what the future access to that market is going to be, part of our Brexit strategy has been about looking for new markets", he said.

"Primarily it's a triumph for our beef farmers because they're producing quality". I will lead a trade mission to China next month to further build on our trade relationships and continue our dialogue with the Chinese government.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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