Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Kildare Chilling is listed as potential beef exporter to China

Kildare Chilling is listed as potential beef exporter to China

Both China and the USA had banned imports of beef from the European Union in 2000 due to fears over BSE (mad cow disease).

Creed said agri-food exports to China increased roughly five-fold from around €200 million in 2010 to almost €1 billion past year.

Ireland is the first European beef exporter to secure access to China, where consumers' appetite for the meat is growing steadily.

Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy, said the announcement is timely as it follows just days after her organisation hosted the China Meat Association and 17 senior representatives from leading Chinese meat importers as part of our Marketplace International event.

The factories that have been approved to actively export to China from this morning include the Larry Goodman-owned ABP plant in Clones in Co Monaghan, Slaney Meats based in Co Wexford, and Donegal Meat Processors, according to RTÉ.

Trade growth between Ireland and China clocked up a bigger percentage growth than with any other country previous year, at 37 per cent.

Michael Creed says after years of hard work, the Chinese authorities will this week confirm access for Irish beef exports.

He added that China is already Ireland's second biggest market globally for dairy exports and for pork exports. On average Chinese beef consumption per capita is 4kg, compared to average Irish consumption of 19kg of beef per person per year. "I am hopeful that a number of other Irish beef plants will not be too far behind", he said.

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

Bord Bia, the state agency responsible for promoting Irish food overseas, said it had been actively planning and preparing for today's announcement. "For beef, the door has now been opened and there is a real opportunity for the industry to build on this".

Mr Creed will lead a trade mission to China next month to consolidate Ireland's trading relationship with the Chinese government.

All of the visiting Chinese delegates had the opportunity to visit Irish beef farms and processors, giving them a first-hand experience and insight into Irish food production.

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