Farm Ireland

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Egypt re-opens to Irish beef exports for the first time since the 1990s

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Agreement has been reached with the Egyptian authorities which reopens the market there to Irish beef, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.

The agreement provides for the approval of five Irish plants to commence exports to Egypt once the necessary technical arrangements are in place.

Prior to their ban on EU beef in the late 1990s it was one of the largest markets for Irish beef at the time. 

Egypt is the largest consumer market in the Middle East and North Africa with around 95 million consumers. It is the third biggest destination for Irish agri-food exports to Africa with exports of €45 million in 2015, almost exclusively dairy (€30.5 million) and seafood (€11 million). 

This announcement follows on from the opening of the Egyptian market to live Irish cattle in February of 2016, after an inspection visit to Ireland by the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture.

Today’s announcement also includes approval for beef offals and a limited approval for particular types of sheepmeat products.

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed commented that he is delighted to see the Egyptian market re-opened for Irish beef once again given the size of the potential market there.

“This announcement on Egypt is another example of achieving the market access goals in the Food Wise 2025 strategy.

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“My Department will continue to work closely with Bord Bia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Irish exporters both to seek new markets for our exports but also to enhance the existing levels of market access.” 

The Minister said the search for new third country markets is a top priority for his Department and has taken on an added urgency in the context of the challenges posed by the upcoming UK exit from the EU.

“2016 was a great success in terms of beef market access.

“ It saw the extension of our beef market access to the US as well as the opening of the Canadian, New Zealand and Israeli beef markets. Significant steps were also taken in terms of beef market access to China, South Korea and Vietnam amongst others and I look forward to further progress in 2017.”

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