Irish sheepmeat exports to Iran given the green light

Irish sheepmeat exporters can now ship sheepmeat to Iran following an agreement with the relevant Iranian authorities.

The decision was welcomed by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, who said it was a direct outcome of the agri-food trade mission to Iran in April, when negotiations took place between the Department of Agriculture and Iranian authorities.

“It is also an issue which I raised directly in bilateral meetings with the Iranian Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Mr. Javad Kachoueian.

“I am delighted to see yet another third country market open for Irish meat products, particularly for the sheep sector which I am very keen to see develop further and deliver more for all levels in that sector,” he said.

The agreement means that Ireland now enjoys access for both beef and sheepmeat to Iran and this could be beneficial to Irish farmers as Iran is the second largest consumer market in the Middle East and North Africa.

In total, the Middle Eastern state has around 80m consumers and economic growth is expected to intensify following the recent easing of economic sanctions.

Minister Creed also said that the search for new and third country markets is a top priority for his Department and he is fully committed to ensuring that Irish meat exports have access to as many international markets as possible.

“This search for new markets for Irish food and drink has taken on an added urgency in the context of the challenges posed by possible upcoming UK exit from the European Union.

“Today’s announcement on Iran is another example of achieving the market access goals in the Food Wise 2025 strategy.

“We have already had a very successful trade mission to four Asian Countries in recent weeks and I expect to be making further announcements on upcoming trade missions in the near future.

“My Department, led by the Market Access unit, will continue to work closely with Bord Bia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Irish exporters to continue to seek new markets for our exports,” he said.