IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said a strong live export trade for calves is critically important to the beef sector and competition, particularly at this time of year.
He said IFA has been working with the Department of Agriculture and live exporters to ensure that exports to Holland keep flowing.
Henry Burns said IFA met the Department of Agriculture on live exports last week. He said the Department is in ongoing contact and discussions with their counterparts in Holland on any issues that have arisen and the trade continues.
In addition, he said calf exports from Ireland to Holland meet the highest EU transport and welfare standards and Irish calves are in high demand from Dutch importers this time of year.
The IFA Livestock leader said live exports of calves are up 87% this year at 19,431 head to mid-March when compared with last year. He said calf exports to Holland are up 52% to 7,478 head and exports to Spain are running at 9553 head. He said the major reduction in milk replacer costs this year is a big plus for the veal trade and should help drive demand.
On a positive note for the live trade, Henry Burns confirmed that the Department of Agriculture had finalised and returned the questionnaire on opening the live trade to Turkey. In addition, he said IFA had received enquiries from Turkish buyers interested in importing Irish cattle and were working with a number of exporters in progressing matters. He said opening the Turkish market for live exports from Ireland needs to be progressed at the highest political level.