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Minister Creed Welcomes Opening of Iranian Market to Irish Sheepmeat

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today welcomed the agreement reached with the Iranian authorities which will allow for Irish sheepmeat to be imported into Iran.  

The Minister commented “this agreement is a direct outcome of our agri-food trade mission to Iran in April when negotiations took place on access for Irish sheepmeat between Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine (DAFM) officials and their Iranian counterparts. It is also an issue which I raised directly in bilateral meetings with the Iranian Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Mr. Javad Kachoueian. I am delighted to see yet another third country market open for Irish meat products, particularly for the sheep sector which I am very keen to see develop further and deliver more for all levels in that sector”.

The agreement means that Ireland now enjoys access for both beef and sheepmeat to Iran.  Iran is the second largest consumer market in the Middle East and North Africa, after Egypt, with around 80 million consumers. Economic growth there is expected to intensify following the recent easing of economic sanctions.

The Minister continued “Today’s announcement on Iran is another example of achieving the market access goals in the Food Wise 2025 strategy. We have already had a very successful trade mission to four Asian Countries in recent weeks and I expect to be making further announcements on upcoming trade missions in the near future. My Department, led by the Market Access unit, will continue to work closely with Bord Bia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Irish exporters to continue to seek new markets for our exports.

Concluding the Minister said “the search for new third country markets is a top priority for my Department and we are fully committed to ensuring that Irish meat exporters have access to as many international markets as possible. This search for new markets for Irish food and drink has taken on an added urgency in the context of the challenges posed by possible upcoming UK exit from the EU.

Note for editors:

  • Sheepmeat exports from Ireland in 2015 were worth more than €230 million (46,000 tonnes)
  • Ireland exported sheepmeat to over 40 countries last year. Around 7.5% of these exports were to non-EU markets.
  • Since 2011 the Department has opened markets for Irish sheepmeat in Iran, Hong Kong, Oman, Maldives and Lebanon.

View this press release as a PDF: DAFMPR 134/2016 (pdf 322Kb) 

Date Released: 14 October 2016