Japanese lift ban on Irish beef
A 13-year ban on Irish beef and beef offals has been lifted by the Japanese authorities, in a deal rumoured to be worth €15m.
The ban, which is to be lifted with immediate effect, was put in place following an outbreak of BSE in 2000. But Japanese scientists have since confirmed their happiness with standards in the Irish market, allowing the Irish beef sector to take advantage of one of the world’s biggest beef importers.
John Bryan, president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) said the re-opening of the Japanese market was very significant and positive for Ireland’s €2bn beef and livestock sector. He said the result had followed years of negotiations and major work by the Department of Agriculture and the Irish meat board Bord Bía.
“This sends a strong signal to other markets that our beef adheres to highest standards in the world,” he said and highlighted how important Japan was in enhancing Ireland’s beef reputation.
Ireland’s Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister are currently on a five-day trade mission to Japan, where they are aiming to boost investment opportunities.
Meetings with major Japanese food processors and importers have been set up, where the Ministers will highlight the opportunities Irish food companies can offer.
Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said: “This visit is a tremendous opportunity for Irish food business operators to build contacts with the influential traders and potential purchasers of their products in a key overseas market for their exports. Japan is a sophisticated premium market, which values high-quality, sustainable and safe food, and this is exactly the offer that we will be emphasising this week.
“The fact that the Taoiseach is lending his weight to this effort is testament to the critical importance of the Irish agri food sector to economic recovery, and I am delighted to be able to represent the Irish food sector in their efforts to build opportunities in international markets.”
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