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Minister Smith welcomes the opening of the Turkish Market for Irish Beef

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today announced that his Department had reached agreement with the Turkish authorities on a veterinary health certificate, which will allow Irish beef from animals aged 30 months or under, subject to certain conditions, to be exported to Turkey. The Turkish market has only recently re-opened to EU beef after 14 years and in the past few months, many Member States, like Ireland, have been negotiating with the Turkish authorities on certification issues. The Minister pointed out that while 99% of our beef exports go to the high-value EU market, Turkey, with a population of almost 75 million people, offers another potentially important outlet to the Irish beef industry.

Minister Smith underlined his commitment to gaining access to as many markets as possible for Irish meat exporters and said that in that regard, 2010 had been a very successful one, which had seen the reopening of several other markets including the Chinese and Russian markets for pigmeat, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisian and Moroccan markets for beef, the Moroccan market for live cattle and sheepmeat and the South Korean market for breeding pigs.

The Minister concluded by saying that "The Irish Agri Food Sector can play a significant role in the economic recovery of this country. There is considerable potential for developing and expanding our agri food exports, which should result in real employment opportunities at home. My Department will continue to work closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Bord Bia to ensure the development of existing markets and to target and gain access to those key markets that are currently closed".

Date Released: 07 January 2011