Japanese joy for Irish beef industry
The reopening of the Japanese market for Irish beef has been warmly welcomed by the Irish beef industry and farm organisations.
The announcement was made in Tokyo yesterday morning where an Irish trade delegation, led by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, met with the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
The deal is expected to be worth between €12m and €15m annually, with Japanese buyers taking mainly fifth quarter produce.
Commenting on the agreement, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said access to the Japanese market was important from a "reputational" point of view.
The decision means that Japan is open to Irish beef for the first time since 2001, while Ireland is one of just a handful of countries allowed to export beef to the Asian powerhouse.
"The positive decision by the Japanese authorities to reopen their market for Irish beef is important in its own right for this market and will hopefully be a significant step towards access for Irish beef and lamb to markets in this region," said Cormac Healy of Meat Industry Ireland.
IFA president John Bryan said the re-opening of the Japanese market sent out a strong signal to other markets that our beef adhered to the highest standards in the world.
The ICSA cautioned that while the re-opening of the Japanese market for Irish beef was positive, it remained to be seen how much it impacted beef prices in the long run.