Kildare Chilling close to getting export deal with China

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Kildare Chilling close to getting export deal with China
15:12 Monday 16th of April 2018

Kildare Chilling is one of five Irish meat plants hoping to be approved to sell beef products to China.

Earlier today, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed announced the Chinese market has been opened to Irish beef from three factories - ABP plant in Clones in Co Monaghan, Slaney Meats based in Co Wexford and Donegal Meat Processors.

A trade mission will take place to China next month to further build on Ireland's trade relationships and continue its dialogue with the Chinese government.

RTE reports that Irish authorities will push for the clearance of five remaining beef plants in Ireland which have applied for access to the Chinese beef market but have not yet been approved.

They are Kildare Chilling, ABP in Nenagh, Kepak Clonee in Co Meath, Liffey Meats in Co Cavan and Dawn Meats Charleville.

Kildare Chilling, based on the Dublin Road in Kildare Town, would almost certainly have to expand and take on extra workers if the deal with China goes through.

The breakthrough into the Chinese market has taken several years of diplomacy and trade negotiations by Government departments and agencies, the food industry, and farmers.

China is now fully open and operational for Irish beef, and the export of frozen boneless beef to the largest single food market in the world can begin.

All of these meat factories have succeeded in satisfying the most exacting production standards demanded by the Chinese and are the first European beef factories to gain access to the Chinese market.

Minister Creed said the opening of this key market presents an excellent opportunity for the Irish beef sector, from farmers through to processors and that opening and developing new markets is a key part of our response to the uncertainties arising from Brexit.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Creed said: "Primarily it's a triumph for our beef farmers because they're producing quality.

"But there were a lot of hoops to be jumped through: diplomatic, political, technical but they're all cleared now.

"This is a market of nearly 1.5 billion people so a small part of that market can deliver huge rewards."

Mr Creed added that the more markets Ireland could access, the greater chance there was of delivering a better margin to the primary producer.

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