Sport

Donegal Meats gains access to Chinese market

Donegal Meats gains access to Chinese market

'We are now well-positioned and ready to maximise this significant opportunity for Irish beef exporters, ' CEO Tara McCarthy said, commenting that China is also Ireland's second largest market for dairy and pork, behind the UK.

China has seen fourfold increase in demand for meat over the last 30 years, and the country now consumes one quarter of the world's meat supply.

They banned beef from the European Union and U.S. during the BSE crisis in 2000, and while that ban was officially lifted three years ago, trade still hasn't resumed.

'Opening and developing new markets is also a key part of our response to the uncertainties arising from Brexit'.

Meat Industry Ireland (MII), which represents the country's valuable processing industry, described it as an "important breakthrough" after years of intensive efforts.

Average Chinese beef consumption per capita is 4kg, compared to 19kg in Ireland, so there is potential for expansion.

Irish Farmers" Association president Joe Healy also welcomed the news but said it is key that the agreement delivers higher margins to farmers and that terms and conditions attached to market access are not "overly stringent'. I will lead a trade mission to China next month to further build on our trade relationships and continue our dialogue with the Chinese government.




Despite this, our exports to China were worth nearly a billion Euro a year ago and Minister Creed says this move will give farmers access to the biggest market on the planet.

As a result of increasing urbanisation and higher disposable income, consumer demand for premium imported beef is forecast to rise over the coming years, which could see Irish agri-food exports increase dramatically.

"It has taken a huge effort by Team Ireland; Ministers, Departmental and agency officials over several years to get beef market access to China over the line, and I want to thank each and everyone who has made a contribution to this effort", he said.

"I look forward to seeing another five factories being approved by the Chinese authorities and I wish those involved in that process every success".

Dublin is hoping for approval for a further five plants, the report added.

Irish beef is being allowed back into China.


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