Donegal meat producer among first to enter the Chinese beef market

European consumers are looking for higher value cuts

European consumers are looking for higher value cuts

Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed announced the access following prolonged talks with the Chinese authorities.

For example, the import of frozen boneless beef, the category for which Ireland will have market access, has grown nine-fold within the last five years.

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.

Deputy Kenny said, "The opening of the Chinese market is a positive move for Irish beef farmers and I congratulate those involved in negotiating it".

The minister said: "I firmly believe that our beef industry can and will compete effectively in the Chinese market and I look forward to the opportunities that this access will bring".

"The opening of this key market presents an excellent opportunity for the Irish beef sector, from farmers through to processors, in line with the market development theme of our Food Wise strategy", said Minister Creed.

Despite this, our exports to China were worth nearly a billion Euro previous year and Minister Creed says this move will give farmers access to the biggest market on the planet.

Donegal meat producer among first to enter the Chinese beef market

He added that China is already Ireland's second biggest market globally for dairy exports and for pork exports.

According to Bord Bia, China officially imported more than 700,000t of beef in 2017 - a figure expected to double by 2020.

The average beef consumption per capita every year is 4kg, compared to the average Irish consumption of 19kg per person.

Bord Bia has welcomed the announcement.

Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, said the announcement is timely as it follows just days after her organisation hosted the China Meat Association and 17 senior representatives from leading Chinese meat importers as part of our Marketplace International event.

Trade growth between Ireland and China clocked up a bigger percentage growth than with any other country previous year, at 37 per cent.

Mr Creed said he would lead a trade mission to China next month to further build on Ireland's trade relationships and continue the dialogue with the Chinese government.

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