DUBLIN, Ireland - Beef exports from Ireland to China are back to full capacity after a two-decade ban.
The majority of beef plants in the country were required to be cleared by an audit conducted by Chinese authorities to clear them for export to China.
A small number were approved intitially which allowed exporting to resume. Now of the balance of plants, fourteen in total, have been cleared by Chinese authorities and have the green light to export beef to China.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed on Monday, in announcing the news said:
"This is the strongest endorsement possible of Irish food safety standards, we were the first country in western Europe to achieve access to the Chinese market and now it is clear that our plants are meeting the high and exacting standards of the Chinese authorities. The key ask of industry had been to have more plants approved in order to meet the growing demand coming from the Chinese market. Working together with our meat industry partners, Bord Bia, the Irish Embassy in Beijing and the Chinese Embassy in Dublin, we have achieved this."
Ireland gained access to the Chinese beef market in April 2018, the latest approvals mean that 21 beef plants are now approved to export to China, increasing Ireland's ability to supply a growing demand premium quality, safe and sustainably produced beef. China is currently Ireland's fifth biggest market for agri-food exports and has grown significantly over the years. Total agri-food exports amounted to almost 800 million euro in 2018. The amount of beef in tonnes exported to China January to August 2019 was 4,651tonnes, a total of 21.4 million euro.
"I am very pleased that I will be welcoming Vice Minister Zou of the General Administration of Customs of the Peoples Republic of China to Ireland next week. This will be an excellent opportunity to engage on our next priority for the Chinese Market which is Sheep meat access."