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Creed Meets Key Figures in new US Administration on First Day of Trade Mission

Sheep meat access and developing Trade links dominate proceedings

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., commenced his trade mission to the United States today with a number of meetings on Capitol Hill.  In meetings with Ray Starling, Special Assistant to the US President on Agriculture and Trade, and with senior officials in the US Department of Agriculture and the US Trade Representation, Minister Creed focussed on Irish agri-food trade with the United States and on the further development of EU/US trade in these sectors.  

Department of Agriculture officials also had technical meetings with counterparts in the US Food Safety Inspection Service and with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, to discuss trade facilitation and equivalency of food safety standards, and the question of access for Irish sheepmeat to the US market.  

The Minister noted that:

“With a new administration bedding in to office here in the US, relationships built at political and official level will be critically important in the context of developing commercial opportunity for Irish agri-food companies and for building a closer trading relationship with the US into the future. I was very pleased to be able to build on Ireland’s profile as a producer of quality food and to raise a number of technical issues of importance to future trade development.”  

The Minister also noted that the sheepmeat sector remains a crucially important part of the Irish agriculture sector and that market access for Irish sheepmeat to the USA is another priority. 

“We have agreed dates in September for an inspection visit by USDA Food Safety Inspection Services (FSIS). We already have beef and pigmeat access to the US, I hope that we will be able to progress access for sheepmeat. We look forward to working closely with our US colleagues in relation to this visit”.   

The Minister also met with Senator Pat Roberts, a key political figure and Chairman of the US Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, as well as the Leadership of the National Farmers Union.

The day’s events will culminate with a Bord Bia reception in the Irish Embassy Residence, focused on the promotion of Irish beef. The reception will be attended by key stakeholders in the US Meat Industry and US retailers and processors. Minister Creed will avail of the occasion to announce an important marketing initiative for Irish beef in the US market which has been worked on extensively by Bord Bia, the Department and the Irish Agriculture Attaché in Washington.

Note for editors:

• The USA was the second biggest destination for Irish food exports in 2016 after the UK. Irish agri food exports to the USA have almost doubled from around €520 million (85,000 tonnes) in 2012 to €1,022 million (190,000 tonnes) in 2016.  

• The key commodities being exported include: beverages (€521 million), dairy produce (€172 million) and miscellaneous edible products & preparations (€153 million). In dairy terms the USA was the 5th largest destination for Irish dairy exports in 2016 with total exports of around €172.4 million or 33,800 tonnes.

• According to USDA data beef exports of some 2,400 tonnes took place from Ireland in 2016.

• Ten Irish beef establishments are currently approved for export to the USA. Two of these ten plants are approved for Beef intended for grinding. The complete list is on the USDA website.

To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 109/2017 (pdf 592Kb) 

Date Released: 19 June 2017