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Minister Smith Welcomes the Re-Opening of the Indonesian Market for Irish Beef

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today welcomed the decision by the Indonesian authorities, to lift the ban on the importation of Irish beef, which has been in place since 2001. The ban was imposed for BSE-related reasons. In 2000, the year preceding the ban, exports of Irish beef to Indonesia exceeded 24,000 tonnes, valued at in excess of €28.5 million.

The market is being re-opened under the conditions recommended by the Indonesian experts who visited Ireland last June. These include a requirement that the meat originate from cattle under 48 months of age. Initially access is being limited to those four plants that were inspected in June but the possibility of approving other plants, following similar inspection, remains open.

The Minister said that the re-opening of the market reflected intensive efforts by Government at political, diplomatic and technical level. 

He added: "This is a very welcome decision as Indonesia has proved to be a valuable market for Irish beef in the past. The decision by the competent authorities in Indonesia to re-open their market to Irish beef was taken following a detailed examination of the rigorous controls applied and reflects the high standards of food safety controls in place in Ireland."

Minister Smith concluded that his Department together with Bord Bia and the Department of Foreign Affairs would continue their efforts to improve market access for Irish meat.

Date Released: 07 September 2009