Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed will attend the International Agriculture and Livestock Exhibition in Izmir, Turkey tomorrow, Thursday, January 1.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine says the Minister’s attendance at this important event in the Turkish agricultural calendar is part of his continuous efforts to increase the live export trade for Irish cattle.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Minister Creed said: “I am pleased to visit Turkey at the invitation of His Excellency, the Turkish minister for Agriculture, Ahmet Esref Fakibaba, and I look forward to meeting the Minister and senior officials.”
The trade delegation includes officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Bord Bia, as well as representatives from the Irish live cattle export companies
“This visit further builds on the efforts my Department and I have put into, firstly, opening the Turkish market for live export in 2016; and, secondly, building on the success of the initial exports of live cattle from Ireland in 2017.
"The export of 30,000 cattle last year represented around 6 per cent of total cattle imports to this important market,” Minister Creed. “I hope that this visit will pave the way for a further increase in trade.”
Reflecting on the importance of Turkey to the Irish beef sector, Minister Creed said:
“Some of the key elements in ensuring a viable return for primary producers include increasing the number of outlets for their produce and ensuring competition for their produce, both of which increase the price received by farmers for their produce. The opening and developing of the Turkish market for quality Irish livestock very much ticks both those boxes.”
Minister Creed will also meet some of the key stakeholders involved in the Turkish livestock sector to discuss progress in the live export trade. “Turkish importers of Irish cattle have been very satisfied with both the quality of Irish quality that arrived into their country and, also, their subsequent performance in Turkish feedlots and farms. This very much reflects the high standards of Irish beef farmers and suckler producers which gives Ireland the reputation it has throughout the world as producers of beef and livestock of the highest quality.
“Animal welfare is obviously a key concern for any live export trade, and inspections by my Department ensure that animal welfare standards are strictly complied with during transport.”