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Minister Welcomes Re-opening of Lebanese Market to Irish Beef, Lamb

05 February 2014

IRELAND - The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney has welcomed the decision of the Lebanese authorities to fully re-open its market to Irish beef, sheepmeat and cooked meats.

Minister Coveney said that this successful agreement followed sustained efforts over a number of years by his Department and the Embassy of Ireland in Cairo.

The Minister commented: “This market will provide another valuable outlet for Irish products and will further enhance Ireland's reputation as a source of high quality sustainably produced food. It follows the recent re-opening of other markets notably Japan during my recent visit with the Taoiseach there. These market openings are key to growing Irish exports as seen in last week’s Bord Bia figures for 2013 as well as helping achieve the targets set out in the Food Harvest 2020 Strategy."

Irish beef exports showed strong growth in 2013, with volumes increasing by four per cent and value increasing by 10 per cent to reach €2.1 billion. Sheepmeat exports also grew in 2013, with volumes increasing by three per cent and value increasing by four per cent to reach €220 million.

The Minister commented: “The Lebanese market is one of huge potential for Irish exporters as they currently import 60 per cent of beef into a domestic market worth €100m annually. I am confident that Irish exporters can regain their slice of that market and grow it further over time. Veterinary health certificates have been agreed between the Lebanese and Irish authorities, ensuring that trade can commence immediately.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

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