The hope is that Irish lamb will hit the US market in quarter one (Q1) of 2023, according to Seamus McMenamin.

Speaking to Agriland, the sheepmeat and livestock sector manager of Bord Bia gave an update on the news earlier this year that Ireland had been granted approval to export sheepmeat to the the country, subject to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approval.

McMenamin said: “We had a trade mission earlier in the year in which we were able to announce that we had access granted to the US market for sheepmeat.

“However, that was the first stage in the process. The next phase is that each individual meat [processor] has to apply for USDA approval and that process is underway.

“It’s quite a detailed process that is composed of a number of stages,” he said.

“It is hoped that we will have product in that market by Q1 of 2023.

“We are doing an insight study in the US to see where the potential for Irish sheepmeat is and where we can really make a mark in this market.

“Currently, it’s a market that’s dominated by Australia and New Zealand and this study is to find where our space is in this market,” McMenamin.

“And it looks like our space is going to be high end. Not massive volumes but a high price point once we get plant approval and get that product into that market.

“Moreover, we also have our EU campaigns ready and our promotional activity has kicked off,” he commented.