Despite having access since 2013 no Irish beef has been sent to Iran

Despite Ireland having access to the Iranian beef market since 2013, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has said that no beef exports have taken place due to current unfavourable trading conditions.

The Iranian market is open for the importation of beef and sheepmeat from Ireland as we have agreed veterinary health certificates with Iran for both commodities, he said.

“The agreement on the beef certificate dates back to 2013 while the sheepmeat certificate was agreed earlier in 2016, following on from the trade mission to Iran, which was led by my Department and Bord Bia.

“Iran is the second largest consumer market in the Middle East and North Africa, after Egypt, with around 80m consumers.

“Economic growth there is expected to intensify following the recent easing of economic sanctions and so it could potentially be an important destination for Irish beef and sheepmeat in the future.”

Minister Creed said that his Department is constantly working in close collaboration with the industry, Bord Bia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in gaining access to third country markets for Irish meats.

“The importance of market access is recognised by Food Wise 2025 and has been given an added impetus by the results of the UK referendum on Brexit.

“It is important to have as many alternative markets available to our exporters as possible,” he said.

Trade with Iran

Ireland’s food and beverage exports to Iran in 2015 amounted to €3.6m consisting mainly of juices, butter and prepared foods, according to Bord Bia.

While exports of dairy produce including infant formula were a feature in the past this trade has suffered in recent years.

Access for Irish beef secured in April 2012 and agreement reached on veterinary certificates in 2013.

Earlier this year, Irish sheepmeat exports were given the green light to be exported to Iran following an agreement with the relevant Iranian authorities.