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Minister Smith announces re-opening of Russian Market to Irish Pigmeat

Brendan Smith TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food today announced the re-opening of the Russian market to Irish pigmeat.  The market has been closed since the dioxin incident in December 2008.  The Russian Federation has today informed the Irish authorities that its market will reopen to Irish pork and pork products with effect from 1st February 2010*.

The Minister commented that the resumption of this trade was the result of intensive work by his Department, Bord Bia and the Irish Embassy in Moscow.  He said that it represented clear recognition by the Russian Federation of the integrity of our food safety controls.

The Minister said that the Russian pigmeat market is an important one to Ireland and was valued at over €12 million in 2007.  He added that the Russian market for Irish pork products is one that has considerable potential to grow.

The Minister concluded that "the maintenance of full access to markets world wide is a priority for my Department and, in conjunction with Bord Bia, a particular effort has been made to ensure normalisation of trading. The manner in which the Irish and Russian Federation authorities have engaged over the past year has greatly assisted in this regard. My intention as always is to ensure access to as many international markets as possible for all Irish meats and meat products".

Note for Editors

*Temporary ban on imports of Irish pork and pork products has been lifted as from the 1 February 2010 and in this regard pork and pork products produced after that date can be exported from Ireland to the Russian Federation.

Date Released: 26 January 2010