Chinese Beef Exports Welcome, But Brexit Is Still An Issue
Chinese Beef Exports Welcome, But Brexit Is Still An Issue
Irish beef is heading to the Chinese market for the first time in 18 years
17 April, 2018, 01:48
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has announced that Ireland has been granted access to export Irish beef to China.
"It has taken a huge effort by Team Ireland; Ministers, Departmental and agency officials over several years to get beef market access to China over the line, and I want to thank each and everyone who has made a contribution to this effort", he said.
Both China and the USA had banned imports of beef from the European Union in 2000 due to fears over BSE (mad cow disease).
Kildare Chilling has been listed as a potential beef exporter to China as part of this morning's agreement that the Chinese market has been opened to Irish beef.
Ireland's agri-food exports to China rose from about €200 million in 2010 to €974 billion previous year.
The average beef consumption per capita every year is 4kg, compared to the average Irish consumption of 19kg per person.
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"Today's timely announcement follows just days after we hosted the China Meat Association and 17 senior representatives from leading Chinese meat importers as part of our Marketplace International event". Frozen boneless beef accounts for around 80pc of these imports.
"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. Marketplace 2018 will be the largest global food buyer event ever staged in Ireland, with in-excess of 600 food and drink trade buyers from 52 countries travelling to meet, and do business, with the Irish food and drink industry.
IFA President Joe Healy also welcomed the announcement.
He added that the more markets Ireland could access, the bigger the opportunities of delivering better margins for the primary producer.
'We are now well-positioned and ready to maximise this significant opportunity for Irish beef exporters, ' CEO Tara McCarthy said, commenting that China is also Ireland's second largest market for dairy and pork, behind the UK.
Mr Creed will lead a trade mission to China next month to consolidate Ireland's trading relationship with the Chinese government.
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