Beef exports to China move a step closer
Steady progress has been made in securing access for Irish beef to China with further inspection visits to Ireland expected to take place later this year.
After receiving a report on last January's inspection visit by a Chinese team, Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, is ready for the next step.
Meanwhile, optimism over meat export demands to Asia was also highlighted at Bord Bia's annual meat marketing seminar.
However, Brexit concerns remain rife within the agri-food industry.
"In relation to China, I am satisfied that we are making steady progress. The formal lifting of the BSE ban by the Chinese authorities in respect of Ireland in early 2015 was followed by the submission of a detailed questionnaire to the Chinese authorities," said Minister Creed.
"We received a copy of their report relatively recently and have replied to their findings. Assuming our response to these findings is positive, the next steps are to agree a protocol and a veterinary health certificate," he said.
"It will also be necessary for Irish meat establishments to be individually approved by the Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) before they are able to export to China.
"Although timelines are very difficult to predict in this process, I hope that such inspections will take place in 2017," he said.