The Department for Agriculture has announced that it has reached an agreement with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health which will allow for the importation into Qatar of Irish meat.
The agreement was welcomed by Minister Michael Creed, who said that “The opening of this new market is a reflection of the confidence the Qatari authorities have in the rigorous controls and high standards of food safety we have in Ireland.”
The market is being opened to boneless beef, sheep meat and poultry, both meat and meat products.
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Minister creed added that “The opening of the Qatari market is the result of on-going efforts by my Department, the Irish Ambassador accredited to Qatar and the agricultural attaché in the Gulf Region in recent times”.
He reiterated his commitment to ensuring that Irish meat exporters would have access to as many global markets as possible in line with the market development themes of Food Wise 2025.
He added that his Department, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Bord Bia would continue to work closely in achieving this goal.
Last year Irish agri-food exports to Qatar amounted €8.8 million, of which around 70% is accounted for by Dairy exports.
In a statement made on its website, the Department for Agriculture said that according to some market research estimates the Qatari meat market is expected to become a million tonne market by 2020.
Due to lower domestic production levels, meat imports are increasingly significant. Sheepmeat is particularly popular, at around 35% of total meat consumption.
The news follows a similar agreement signed by Minister Creed and the Chinese government to allow the import to China of Irish beef.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.