Egyptian live export progress must see ‘cattle actually being exported’

Farmers need to see delivery on live export progress through cattle actually being exported to the Egyptian market, according to a livestock committee chairperson.

Commenting on the reports of progress in the Egyptian market for live exports, the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association’s (ICMSA’s) Livestock Committee chairperson, Des Morrison, said that this was exactly the kind of focus that his organisation had been calling for over the last 18 months.

Morrison said: “It was not unreasonable to expect agencies to come together and work towards dealing with the obstacles in the way of developing our live exports to growing markets like Egypt.”

Morrison noted that the ICMSA had raised this point with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, at last week’s ICMSA AGM.

Morrison added: “We have to actually go to meet these customers and find out exactly what is hindering our live exports – indeed all our agri-related exports – and then actively tackle and remove those hindrances.

“This delegation and trade mission was the first to Egypt in eight years. Many farmers will be a little disappointed that we seemed to ignore a market of nearly 100 million people for that duration.”

Continuing, he outlined: “The ICMSA is calling for a dedicated unit comprising officials from: the departments of agriculture, transport and foreign affairs; Bord Bia; live exporters; and vets. Their single aim must be to identify and remove those obstacles to increase our live export numbers.”

Concluding, Morrison said: “Progress on the Egyptian live export market shows the potential that is there if more focus is given to the issue.”