North African country a key destination for farm exports
ALGERIA was an important destination for Irish beef exports in the 1990s, with the North African country taking about 20,000 tonnes a year.
In 1996 it imported €27.9m worth of beef, which represented two-thirds of total Irish exports to the country that year.
But Irish beef imports were banned there in 2000 after the BSE scare here and in Britain. It was four years before the ban was lifted, and only with strict rules.
Algeria requires that all animals over 30 months be tested for BSE which limits the amount of beef that can be exported.
Getting a reduction in this requirement was one of Agricultural Minister Simon Coveney's goals when meeting his counterpart Rachid Benaissa in September.
Last year, €38m worth of dairy goods were sent to Algeria. And it is currently the Irish Dairy Board's second largest market for cheese.