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After 18 years, China has opened its markets to Irish beef

After 18 years, China has opened its markets to Irish beef

The Larry Goodman-owned ABP plant in Clones in County Monaghan, Slaney Meats based in County Wexford, and Donegal Meat Processors are the factories that have been given full approval by the Chinese authorities to export frozen boneless beef products from today (16 April), Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed announced, according to the television news channel RTE.

China is Ireland's third-largest market overall.

China banned beef from the European Union and U.S. during the BSE crisis in 2000 - that ban was officially lifted three years ago but trade still hasn't resumed - until now.

"Primarily it's a triumph for our beef farmers because they're producing quality", Minister Creed told RTÉ's Morning Ireland. "This has been a remarkable achievement and underlines the importance of the Chinese market".

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

As a result of increasing urbanisation and higher disposable income, consumer demand for premium imported beef is forecast to rise over the coming years, which could see Irish agri-food exports increase dramatically.

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All of these meat factories have succeeded in satisfying the most exacting production standards demanded by the Chinese and are the first European beef factories to gain access to the Chinese market.

Although annual per capita beef consumption in China is now 4-6kg, compared to 19kg in Ireland. An average annual increase of just 1kg per capita equates to an additional 1.38 million tonnes of beef per annum.

IFA President Joe Healy also welcomed the announcement.

Repro Free Dawn Meats, Charleville during todayÕs visit by a Chinese delegation part of Bord BiaÕs Marketplace 2018, a week-long business development event aimed at building new trade relationships with retailers, foodservice and ingredient buyers and distributors from across the globe.

Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, said: "Bord Bia, and in particular, our Shanghai office, has been actively planning and preparing for today's breakthrough, and we are now well-positioned and ready to maximize this significant opportunity for Irish beef exporters".

He added that the more markets Ireland could access, the bigger the opportunities of delivering better margins for the primary producer.


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