IFA President Joe Healy has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed that the Chinese market is opening for Irish beef.
Joe Healy said the opening of the Chinese market, after a lot of hard work, presents the beef sector with an opportunity to build on the progress the Irish dairy and pig meat sectors have made in China in recent years. He pointed out that Irish dairy exports reached €670m and pigment exports grew to almost €100m in 2017.
The IFA President said to capture a substantial market share in the Chinese beef market, it is very important that eligibility is secured for all Irish beef products and not just frozen boneless beef and that all export beef plants are cleared. In addition, he said it is essential that the market opportunity is not restrictive and the protocol is developed to allow beef products from all Irish livestock.
Joe Healy said the major challenges for Minister Creed on beef remain the need to take action to improve the unacceptably low income levels on Irish farms and the market challenges arising from Brexit, given that the UK market takes up to 280,000t of our beef exports.