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Chinese market opened up to Irish beef

17 April 2018

Irish beef is being allowed back into China.

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

Deputy Kenny said, "The opening of the Chinese market is a positive move for Irish beef farmers and I congratulate those involved in negotiating it".

CHINA has made the decision to open its markets to Irish beef following years of unsuccessful negotiations.

Minister Creed said the opening of this key market presents an excellent opportunity for the Irish beef sector, from farmers through to processors, in line with the market development theme of our Food Wise strategy.

"Our agri-food exports to China have increased roughly five-fold from around €200 million in 2010 to almost €1 billion a year ago", Minister Creed said.

There will be the first European beef processors to gain access to China.

In China, annual per capita beef consumption is low at 4-6kg - compared to 19kg in Ireland.

Speaking today, the CEO of Bord Bia - Tara McCarthy - said: "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".

The Irish agri-food trade exports to China reached €947 million past year, with the country representing the second-largest market for Irish dairy and pork, reaching €667 million and €100 million, respectively. "MII will continue to work with the Department of Agriculture and the Chinese Authorities to quickly secure the approval to export for all Irish beef processing plants and to extend the list of eligibility products that can be traded".

This opens up a market of nearly 1.5 billion people, of which even a fraction could help offset uncertainties arising from Brexit.

Bord Bia, the state agency responsible for promoting Irish food overseas, said it had been actively planning and preparing for today's announcement.

"This is the biggest market in the world, and it has the potential to be for the beef industry", the minister said.

He is due to lead a trade mission to China in May to further build on relations and push for the approval of five more beef plants, which have applied for access but have not yet been approved.

Chinese market opened up to Irish beef