Ireland ‘not permitted’ to export beef offal to China

The Irish Food Board – Bord Bia – has moved to clarify speculation surrounding exports of beef offal to China in a letter recently issued to the Galway branch of the Beef Plan Movement.

Responding to a question regarding beef exports to China and what percentage of exports will be from the fifth quarter, the Bord Bia letter explained: “Currently, Ireland is not permitted to export beef offal products to China.”

However, the letter acknowledged that for many years, the Chinese market has been “a key destination” for Irish cattle hides and sheep skins.

Bord Bia explained that hide prices are at “historic low levels” and noted that this is evident in the ‘Beef Market Tracking’ section of Bord Bia’s website.

It further pointed out that the website now contains a ‘US Byproduct Market Indicator’ and explained that this was one of the commitments given under the Beef Market Taskforce.

Criteria for exporting beef to China

The letter also outlined the requirements for beef being exported from Ireland to China.

It explained: “The only beef allowed [to] be exported from Ireland to China must… come from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the Republic of Ireland.

No imported beef is allowed to be exported to China under the veterinary certificate agreed between Ireland and China.

“The principle demand from China is for forequarter cuts or lower value cuts from other parts of the animal.”

Concluding, the letter outlined: “The main cuts currently being exported to China include: the shin; shank; flank; brisket; chick and rib fingers.”