IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said access to new markets in the US and China are a real priority for the Irish Beef sector. Henry Burns said Minister Coveney and the Government must prioritise work in this area and turn the announcements into real market access as soon as possible.
The IFA Livestock leader said, “There was great fanfare when the announcement was made in January, but the follow-up has to be done. Minister Coveney needs to take action on removing the technical obstacles holding back exports to these new markets in order to deal with increased cattle numbers in the pipeline for 2017, and to prevent a repeat of the severe beef price and income problems of 2014. He said there must be real delivery on getting access to new markets”.
Henry Burns said it was very clear from the most recent Beef Forum meeting that a lot more work needs to be done in getting more beef plants approved for export to the US and getting the restrictions on manufacturing beef removed. “ Ireland is still working on clearance for manufacturing beef exports to the US, with Minister Coveney saying he is confident of delivering access very soon. We need to see these promises turned into real delivery.”
Henry Burns said Minister Coveney also needs to make progress on a number of other important beef issues from the Beef Forum including increasing the age limit for prime cattle from 30 to 36 months, increased monitoring of carcase trim at the meat plants, more live exports, market transparency, and using the Department AIMS system to count relevant residencies.