January 6, 2023


Renewed beef access to China presents huge opportunity for Irish farmers


Tim Cullinan, the president of the Irish Farmers' Association, said the reopening of the Chinese market to Irish beef presents a huge opportunity, in what was a market with strong growth potential prior to the ban on Irish beef imports, Irish Examiner reported.


Ireland's Department of Agriculture announced that beef exports can resume to China, after it was suspended following the detection of an isolated case of atypical BSE in May 2020.


Cullinan said the protocol must now be worked on to allow beef products from all Irish livestock, adding that it is important that eligibility is secured for all Irish beef products and the market opportunity is not restrictive.


The long-awaited reopening of the Chinese market is significant, according to IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden, who said they must see the benefits of this renewed access directly in stronger beef prices for cattle finishers.


Golden said the costs of producing beef on farms are well documented, and beef prices must now rise to cover these costs.


Edmund Graham, the chairman of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association, said farmers must benefit from the restored access.


Graham said there will be optimism again now about the initial opening of the Chinese market in 2018, but it is of no use if it does not result in a price rise.


He said beef farmers are dealing with a protracted, difficult, and expensive winter, and the current price of beef is simply insufficient to cover the increased production costs.


Pat McCormack, president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers' Association, said that increasing food exports to China must be a top priority.


One Irish farmer said if the reopening of the Chinese market does not result in higher prices for Irish farmers producing beef, then it is an empty marketing exercise.


-      Irish Examiner

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