Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Questions (225)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

225. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position on export access to markets (details supplied) for the sale of Irish beef. [14464/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Irish beef exports increased from €2,405 million in 2017 to €2,439 million in 2018 and Ireland exported beef to around 70 countries all over the world according to the CSO trade statistics. 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 in line with the market development theme of the Food Wise 2025 strategy.

My Department’s Market Access Information portal, which I launched last year, brings together into one location the full range of open markets and products, and the relevant certification conditions in a user-friendly manner for exporters: http://www.marketaccess.agriculture.gov.ie/

The opening of the Chinese market for Irish beef in 2018 was the culmination of significant work, over a number of years, and I am pleased that six Irish beef plants are currently approved to export beef to China. Exports of Irish beef to China commenced during the summer 2018.

Ireland was the first EU Member State to be granted beef market access to the USA in 2015. In July 2016, my Department received approval to send Beef Intended for Grinding (BIFG), also known as manufacturing beef to the USA. A total of ten Irish plants have been approved for the export of raw intact beef to the US, of which two are also approved for BIFG.

In relation to Morocco there is a bilateral veterinary health certificate in place for beef including minced meat and meat-based products and a small volume of trade took place in 2018.

For the other three countries referred to (Ghana, Thailand and Vietnam), Ireland does not formally have an agreed veterinary health certificates in place. However, beef exports have taken place from Ireland to these countries on the basis of general meat certificates, according to the CSO trade statistics. My officials are currently working on securing bilateral certification in respect of Vietnam and Thailand, as these are markets of interest to the industry.