Brexit and trade dominate beef roundtable meeting
The tenth meeting of the Beef Roundtable took place in Dublin today with Brexit and trade developments dominating the agenda.
Acknowledging the resilience shown by the sector in 2017, Minister Creed emphasised the contribution made across the beef sector which has allowed it to react to the challenges it has faced, most notably since the result of the Brexit referendum in the UK last year.
Minister Creed said: “It is encouraging to see how the sector has responded positively in the first six months of 2017 to the challenges it has faced. In particular I note the strong performance of live exports which are 43pc ahead of last year and the growing third country trade which has seen markets in Asia especially, showing strong increases in the value of exports in the first quarter.“
In addition to updating the Roundtable on the work of the Government and the Department in response to Brexit, Minister Creed also provided updates on his most recent trade missions and his continuing work in opening international markets to Irish food and drink: “I am cognisant of the importance of having as many markets as possible open to Irish food and drink. Since I became Minister I have and am continuously working to expand market access for all agri food exports. We are beginning to see the fruits of this increased focus.”
Referring specifically to the trade mission undertaken last month to the USA and Mexico, Minister Creed referred to the recent granting of approval by the USDA to the Bord Bia Process Verified Programme and its importance to overall strategy for the marketing of Irish beef in the USA.
“I was delighted to see the approval by Bord Bia of the Process Verified Programme for labelling Irish beef as grass fed and reared outdoors. I believe that this is a major milestone in our attempts to firmly establish Irish beef in the US market and one which will hopefully provide further momentum to the sale of Irish beef in the US.”
The Minister also provided the Roundtable with an update on progress in different international trade deals affecting Ireland and Irish beef reminding the Roundtable that notwithstanding the primacy of Brexit, other international trade deals are of significant importance to Irish beef:
“Whilst Brexit is very much a key priority for my office at the moment, I can assure you that activities in ongoing international trade agreements are being closely monitored.”