Donegal Meat Processors is one of three factories in Ireland that have been fully approved by the Chinese authorities and are the first European beef processors to gain access to that country.
The country is Ireland’s third largest market – last year our agri-food exports there were worth nearly a billion Euro.
China banned beef from the EU and US during the BSE crisis in 2000 – that ban was officially lifted three years ago but trade still hasn’t resumed – until now.
It’s understood at least three beef factories here have been fully approved by the Chinese authorities and are the first European beef processors to gain access there.
Within the last 30 years Chinese demand for meat has quadrupled, and the country now consumes one quarter of the world’s meat supply.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed says today’s announcement follows years of hard work and presents an excellent opportunity for the Irish beef sector, from farmers through to processors.