Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2074)

Danny Healy-Rae


2074. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason a beef trade agreement with Iran is not being sought in order to help beef farmers here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32854/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Total Irish agri-food exports to Iran in 2018 were around €1.9 million. According to CSO statistics, no beef was exported to Iran in 2018.

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

A veterinary health certificate for the export of beef from Ireland to Iran was agreed in March 2013. DAFM officials participated in a successful trade mission to Iran and Turkey in April 2016. While the trade mission was primarily dairy-focused, DAFM officials had the opportunity to meet with their Iranian counterparts in order to progress and ultimately agree sheepmeat access to the Iranian market and also to explore other common areas of interest. Therefore, the Iranian beef market is open at present but the resumption of exports is a matter for the industry.