Philippines beef deal offers opportunities for Irish food firms

Simon Coveney: “I am firmly of the view that it is vital that Irish companies have access to as many markets worldwide as possible.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Simon Coveney: “I am firmly of the view that it is vital that Irish companies have access to as many markets worldwide as possible.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 01:45

Burgeoning Asian appetites for meat provide a major opportunity for countries such as Ireland that have a strong focus on food exports. Incomes are rising strongly around the region and the possibilities are enormous.

Any signs of greater access to countries in the region is a positive one for Ireland’s efforts to boost sales, and leaders have welcomed a decision by the Philippines to allow for the importation of beef, sheep meat and pig meat from Ireland.

Under a recent deal, a total of 43 Irish beef-processing establishments have been accredited to export to the Philippines until August 23rd next year, with a further 39 pig-processing establishments and 29 sheep-processing establishments.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said in a statement that veterinary health certificates have also been agreed for beef, pig meat and sheep meat between it and the department of agriculture of the Philippines.

Minister Simon Coveney welcomed the agreement, which followed a successful systems audit inspection visit to Ireland by a veterinary delegation from the Philippines.

“I am firmly of the view that it is vital that Irish companies have access to as many markets worldwide as possible and my department and I will continue to work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Bord Bia to this end,” said Mr Coveney.

The Philippines is a key market in southeast Asia and there are good prospects for Irish meat exports both in the short term and in the long term, he said.

And there were encouraging signs that the decision by the Filipino authorities would have a positive effect on Irish efforts to gain access to other markets in the region, he said.

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