Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (509)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

509. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of exports to Egypt since the Egyptian market reopened to Irish beef; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5594/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My officials continue to work towards opening and enhancing access to as many markets as possible. This is a key part of our response to the challenges and uncertainty posed by Brexit, and is in line with the market development theme of the Food Wise 2025 strategy.

In relation to Egypt, the market was re-opened in early 2017 and there is an agreed veterinary health certificate for beef. The certificate covers bone in beef, boneless beef and certain offals including liver, heart and kidneys. Five Irish beef establishments are approved to export to Egypt.

While some trade commenced in early 2017, Central Statistics Office (CSO) trade data show that only 84 tonnes, or €226,000, was exported in 2017. There were not any beef exports to Egypt in 2018, up to the end of November.

The role of DAFM is to open up markets for the industry and it is then up to the industry with the support of DAFM and Bord Bia, to avail of these opportunities. However, the actual levels of exports will depend on a range of factors, including as global supply and demand dynamics, currency fluctuations and individual customer requirements.