China withdraws ban on Irish beef

By Georgi Gyton contact

- Last updated on GMT

The cuts to be exported are still to be agreed
The cuts to be exported are still to be agreed

Related tags: Republic of ireland

Irish beef has been approved for export to China once again, following the withdrawal of its BSE-related ban.

The access will cover boneless beef from animals under 30 months of age.

The development comes only a month after Ireland announced it was the first country to regain access to the US beef market, after the ban on EU beef was lifted.

Simon Coveney, Irish minister for agriculture, food and the marine, welcomed the announcement by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, noting that it was a very significant advance for the Irish beef sector.

"This announcement follows on intensive political, technical and diplomatic engagement with the Chinese authorities over several years,"​ he said.

"We made a significant breakthrough last November, when I led a major trade mission to China, involving Irish leading beef companies. My Chinese agriculture counterpart Minister Han Changfu and his colleague Minister Shi Zhuping, who is responsible for inspection and quarantine, agreed at that time to send a veterinary inspection team to Ireland."

The inspection followed in December, with the Irish food safety control system passing "with flying colours".

Coveney said the overall Chinese beef opportunity was currently estimated at approximately six million tonnes and was expected to grow by a further one million tonnes over the next five years, driven by increasing affluence and the popularity of a Western-style diet.

"There is market potential not only for beef offal, but increasingly for high-quality steak cuts and for traceable manufacturing beef for the expanding fast food sector,"​ he added.

The next step for Ireland will be the agreement of a protocol to determine which cuts can be exported, and the agreement of a veterinary certificate. This will be followed by a Chinese veterinary inspection to approve individual processing plants for export.

Related topics: Industry & Markets, Ireland, China, Beef

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