Significant progress expected on sheepmeat exports to China in 2019
The Department of Agriculture is hoping that signifciant progress can be made on access to China for Irish sheepmeat, after a meeting of officials today.
Senior Officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, today held productive technical meetings with counterparts in Beijing, in relation to meat market access and other topics of mutual interest.
At the meeting with GACC, DAFM officials submitted a further tranche of detailed applications from Irish beef plants for approval to export frozen boneless beef to China. Six Irish beef plants already have access, and trade has commenced.
The Department has prioritised the approval process for additional plants at the request of Irish industry, who see a significant opportunity on the Chinese market if the supply side is increased, to enable them to fill larger orders and export greater volumes.
Officials agreed that the priority focus for 2019 would be sheepmeat access. Ireland had previously submitted a detailed questionnaire on sheepmeat, which GACC will now review. When that review is complete, the next steps will include an inspection visit to Ireland.
Last month, the Chinese Agriculture Minister Han Changfu chose to visit Ireland and a new Action Plan for Cooperation between the two Departments of Agriculture was signed for 2019 to 2021.
As a result, the Minister for Agriculture has said in light of this, and although Ireland is at the very start of the process for sheepmeat access to China, he is hopeful that Ireland will be able to make progress in 2019.
As part of the Trade Mission to China last May, Minister Creed met with the Chinese Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Minister Han Changfu, and signalled that Ireland was interested in commencing the process for sheepmeat access.