Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed has announced that from this morning the Chinese market has been opened to Irish beef.
Irish beef exports to Chinese market approved
Three beef factorieshave been fully approved by the Chinese authorities and are the first European beef processors to gain access to that country - writes rte.ie
There are hopes that approvals for five more will follow soon.
It has taken years of careful diplomacy and painstaking trade negotiations by Government departments and agencies, the food industry, and farmers.
Butthis morning all the formalities and certifications are complete.
China is now fully open and operational for Irish beef, and the export of frozen boneless beef to the largest single food market in the world can begin.
The factories that have been fully approved, and can actively export to China from this morning, include the Larry Goodman-owned ABP plant in Clones in CoMonaghan, Slaney Meats based in CoWexford, and Donegal Meat Processors.
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.
The announcement was made by Mr Creed this morning with the approval of the Chinese authorities.
The minister said the opening of this key market presents an excellent opportunity for the Irish beef sector, from farmers through to processors and that opening and developing new markets is a key part of our response to the uncertainties arising from Brexit.
He also said he will lead a trade mission to China next month to further build on Ireland'strade relationships and continue itsdialogue with the Chinese government.
It is expected that during that trip the Irish authorities will push for the clearance of the five remaining beef plants which have applied for access to the Chinese beef market but have not yet been approved.
TheyareABP in Nenagh, Kepak Clonee, Liffey Meats, Dawn Meats Charleville and Kildare Chilling.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Creed described the process to get to this point as "slow and complex", adding it wasa process that his predecessors had also been involved in.
"Primarily it's a triumph for our beef farmers because they're producing quality. But there were a lot of hoops to be jumped through: diplomatic, political, technical but they're all cleared now," he added.
"This is a market of nearly 1.5 billion people so a small part of that market can deliver huge rewards."
Mr Creed added that the more markets Ireland could access,the greater chance there was of delivering a better margin to the primary producer.
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