'Accelerated process agreed for sheepmeat and enhanced beef access to China'- Creed

Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Michael Creed with Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Changfu.
Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Michael Creed with Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Changfu.
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Chinese authorities have agreed an accelerated process for inspection and registration of a further tranche of beef plants, as well as an inspection visit to progress sheepmeat access, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said.

Following a meeting with the Chinese Vice Minister Zhang Jiwen of the General Administration of Customs (GACC) Minister Creed stated:

“Today I submitted further detailed documentation on these plants to the Chinese authorities in a new template following previous technical discussions. GACC have now committed to an inspection visit in August 2019 for the further tranche of beef plants.

“GACC also committed to an inspection visit on sheepmeat in August 2019, which is intended to involve both a systems audit and plants inspections.”

Minister Creed also said he was very pleased that his Chinese counterpart has responded very positively to his “two immediate priorities in terms of market access for China” which are an early approval of the outstanding tranche of beef plants, as well as progressing sheepmeat access.

“The commitment by GACC today to an inspection visit to cover both of these priorities in August this year represents real progress,” added Minister Creed.

Senior Director at Meat Industry Ireland (MII) Cormac Healy said that while MII welcomed the move he added it would have been preferable if they had granted approval immediately as it will slow down export growth to the Asian country.

“Meat Industry Ireland (MII) welcomes the fact that the Chinese authorities have committed to a plant approval inspection mission in August. Obviously, it would have been preferable had they granted pre-registration/approval immediately.  

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“The delay in getting additional processing plants approved, limits the ability of the sector to grow exports of Irish beef to China and also to take advantage of current meat protein shortages in that market,” said Mr Healy.

“We acknowledge the efforts of the Minister and DAFM officials on China access and stress that meat processing companies have invested significant time and resources to achieve greater access for Irish meat to China.”

He added that the news that the August inspection mission will also cover inspections of our sheepmeat controls regime and processing plants is very welcome.

“MII is keen to see progress on Irish sheepmeat access to the Chinese market so that the sector here can benefit just like key competitors in NZ and Australia already do.”

Online Editors