Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (724)

Brendan Smith

Question:

724. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the timeline for the opening of the South Korean market for beef exports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31246/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The process of gaining access for Irish beef to the South Korean market has been ongoing for a number of years.  Ireland is currently at step five in an eight step process for beef market access. The next step is transmission of our beef file to the National Assembly for their deliberative process.

During my recent trade mission visit to South Korea, high level technical and ministerial meetings took place between my Department and both the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS).  These meetings were focused on providing and clarifying additional information sought by the Ministries. My Department continues to liaise and cooperate with MAFRA and MFDS, developing strong, collaborative relationships with these key authorities over market access.

I hope provision of this information will allow transmission of the beef access file to the National Assembly soon. However, as the Deputy will appreciate, the timing of access to the Korean beef market remains ultimately the decision for the Korean authorities.