IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods strongly welcomed the trip by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to Turkey this week on live exports.
He said IFA and Bord Bia visited this market last October and it is clear that there is real potential for increased export, “Based on positive discussions we had with the The Turkish Meat and Milk Board (ESK), it is clear Turkey has an import requirement for 500,000 head of live cattle each year. Ireland could supply up to 100,000 head of this requirement on an annual basis.”
Angus Woods said the Turkish authorities recognise the high quality of Irish livestock and praised the shipments they had received from Ireland. He said, “Turkey wants to develop the trade with Ireland and it is very important that this is fully facilitated in every way.”
The IFA Livestock Chairman said, “We discussed how we can increase supplies from Ireland by matching our seasonal production with the Turkish specification requirements. We also discussed various issues around weight, age and quarantine requirements.” He said farmers are looking forward to some positive announcements on live exports from the Minister’s visit to Turkey this week.
Angus Woods said the priority on live exports right now is for Minister Creed to secure full ferry access for our calf exports to EU markets over the coming weeks when the Stena ferry goes into dry dock. He said Minister Creed is responsible for market access and he has to deliver alternative full ferry access before February 20th until March 19th, which is peak calf export season. Angus Woods said with our increased cow numbers the Minister needs to target an additional 100,000 head of live exports this year.