Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2087)

Robert Troy


2087. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the quantity of beef sales derived from trade missions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33937/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The pursuit and development of new markets for Irish agri-food exports, including beef, is a constant and central component of the strategic development of the industry, as evidenced by its placement at the centre of Food Wise 2025, the industry’s strategy for development.

Trade Missions play an important role in this market development. I have been active on this front over many years and in 2019 to date have had successful trade missions completed to Turkey, China, Japan and Korea.

Overall, agri-food exports to countries outside the EU have increased from around €2.7 billion to €3.6 billion in the period 2014 to 2018. This represents very rapid growth of 36% in that four-year timeframe.

In relation to beef, notable achievements on the foot of several trade missions have seen Ireland gain access for beef products to the US and China. Following the announcement of Irish beef access in April 2018 to China, exports of Irish beef commenced in the summer 2018 and by the end of 2018 around €2.8 million (1,400 tonnes) had been exported. More recently, Ireland was the first EU country to have the 30 month restriction on beef removed by Japan.

The CETA agreement in 2015, allows for Irish beef products to be exported to Canada and the Japan EU Economic Partnership Agreement offers significant opportunities for future growth also.

Irish beef exports globally have increased steadily from 486,000 tonnes exported in 2015 to the 534,000 tonnes in 2018.

These achievements reflect the increased focus of my Department on opening and enhancing access to key markets. This success has entailed detailed work by our market access experts, audit and inspection visits by competent authorities from international markets, and an intensified agri-food trade mission agenda. This work is informed and supported by Bord Bia’s market insights, strategic marketing and promotion programme. This intensive work programme reflects our shared Food Wise strategy and represents a fundamental and practical response to the challenges posed to our industry particularly Brexit.