Ireland beef processors gain access to China with three factories approved

Ireland beef processors gain access to China with three factories approved

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed says after years of hard work, the Chinese authorities will this week confirm access for Irish Beef exports.

It has been three years since China formally lifted a ban on Irish beef exports imposed after the BSE crisis.

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 previous year, which Creed said, "has been a remarkable achievement and underlines the importance of the Chinese market".

Three beef factories have been fully approved by the Chinese authorities - ABP, Co. 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.

The Irish agri-food trade exports to China reached €947 million previous year, with the country representing the second-largest market for Irish dairy and pork, reaching €667 million and €100 million, respectively.


The other issue which is really important is they import and are very interested in, what the industry here would term, the fifth quarter - the product that's probably not as much in demand in the other markets that we are in.

"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. 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".

A formal agreement to lift the ban on Irish beef was agreed in 2015, making Ireland the first country in the European Union with permission to sell back into China.

Bord Bia's Tara McCarthy said it has been actively planning for this access through its Shanghai office and it was testimony to the "reputation" of Irish beef. Consumption is on the rise and an average annual increase of just 1kg per capita would equate to an additional 1.38 million tonnes of beef per annum.

"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".

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