Speaking from the SIAL Food Fair in Shanghai, Asia’s largest food exhibition, Mr. Des Morrison, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee who is part of the Irish Trade Delegation to China this week said that there are huge opportunities for Irish beef in China. Although beef consumption is low among the general population at present, given the huge population in China and the rising affluence of the middle class, the smallest increase in beef consumption in China could amount to 1.4m tonnes of beef per annum, said Mr. Morrison. We are the first EU beef exporting country to secure access to this gigantic market, credit for which must go to our regulators, the processing sector and farmers for the high standards of our production which are now internationally recognised.
Last year, the Irish beef industry produced over 600,000 tonnes of beef. Gaining access to the Chinese market even if it’s just a toe in the market at first should have significant benefits for our industry. It is very encouraging to see an Irish delegation out here in China promoting our beef and from my discussions with various industry representatives from Ireland and China, it presents a huge opportunity for the Irish beef industry that must be supported strongly by the relevant state agencies in particular the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine and An Bord Bia.
The Irish beef story being presented at the SIAL Food Fair is hugely positive and from a farmer perspective, we need to see this translate into sales into the Chinese and other Asian markets, into higher beef prices and thus higher incomes for beef producers in Ireland. This will be the key measure of success in terms of the benefits of increased market access for Irish beef, concluded Mr. Morrison.
ENDS 17 May 2018
Des Morrison, (087) 2263331
Chairperson ICMSA Livestock Committee
ICMSA Head Office: (061) 314677