Dept hunting new markets
Published 16/01/2013 | 06:00
The Department of Agriculture is continuing to push for the reopening of new markets for Irish food, a senior official told Bord Bia's Meat Markets Prospects Seminar.
Department of Agriculture assistant secretary, Philip Carroll, said opening new markets was critical to the continued growth in exports from the food sector.
The latest figures from Bord Bia show a 27pc lift in food and drink exports to Third Country markets, with volumes increasing by €200m in value terms to €2.4bn.
Mr Carroll cited the recent reopening of the United Arab Emirates market for Irish sheep-meat exports as evidence of the progress the department was making.
He said he was "hopeful" that the Australian market would open for pork exports this year.
Progress had also been made in relation to Vietnam and Mr Carroll said a decision on access was expected in the next few months.
China and Ireland had established a joint working group to look at the whole question of beef and sheep-meat exports to that country, while negotiations were also continuing with South Korea and Japan.
In relation to the US market, Mr Carroll said "some traction" could be possible by this summer.