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Minister Smith welcomes the re-opening of the United Arab Emirates Market to Irish Beef

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr. Brendan Smith TD, today welcomed the decision by the UAE authorities, to lift the ban on the importation of Irish beef, which has been in place since January 2001. This decision by the UAE has been taken as a result of a review by its authorities of beef controls in a number of EU countries, including Ireland.  In the year preceding the ban, exports of Irish beef to the UAE amounted to over 5,200 tonnes and were valued at almost  €8.3 million. The market is being re-opened to Irish beef under 30 months.

The Minister said that his Department, together with Bord Bia and the Department of Foreign Affairs, had been working vigorously to regain access to this important market and that the UAE decision would provide another potentially important outlet for Irish beef. He added that the re-opening of the market was a recognition that the production of beef in Ireland is subject to extremely rigorous controls and reflects the importance we place on high standards for food safety.   The Minister underlined his commitment to ensuring that Irish meat exporters had unhindered access to global markets and that ongoing efforts would continue in this context.

Date Released: 15 November 2009