Turkish importers ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of Irish cattle

Turkish importers of Irish cattle have been “very satisfied” with the quality of Irish cattle, according to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

The minister was speaking ahead of his visit to Turkey as part of a drive to increase live exports.

Minister Creed will attend the ‘International Agriculture and Livestock Exhibition’ in Izmir, Turkey, tomorrow (Thursday, February 1). The minister’s attendance at the event is part of continuous efforts to increase the live export trade for Irish cattle.

Commenting on the visit, he said: “I am pleased to visit Turkey at the invitation of his excellency, the Turkish Minister for Agriculture, Ahmet Esref Fakibaba – and I look forward to meeting the minister and senior officials.”

Minister Creed will be joined by officials from his department, Bord Bia personnel, plus representatives from the Irish live cattle export companies on the trip.

This visit further builds on the efforts my department and I have put into, firstly, opening the Turkish market for live export in 2016 and, secondly, building on the success of the initial exports of live cattle from Ireland in 2017.

”The export of 30,000 cattle last year represented around 6% of total cattle imports to this important market and I hope that this visit will pave the way for a further increase in trade,” Minister Creed added.

Importance of Turkish market

Outlining the importance of Turkey to the Irish beef sector, the minister said: “Some of the key elements in ensuring a viable return for primary producers include increasing the number of outlets for their produce and ensuring competition for their produce – both of which increase the price received by farmers for their produce.

“The opening and developing of the Turkish market for quality Irish livestock very much ticks both of those boxes.”

During the trip Minister Creed will also meet with some of the key stakeholders involved in the Turkish livestock sector to discuss progress in the live export trade.

Turkish importers of Irish cattle have been very satisfied with both the quality that arrived into their country and also their subsequent performance in Turkish feedlots and farms.

“This very much reflects the high standards of Irish beef farmers and suckler producers, which gives Ireland the reputation it has throughout the world as producers of beef and livestock of the highest quality.

“Animal welfare is obviously a key concern for any live export trade, and inspections by my department ensure that animal welfare standards are strictly complied with during transport,” he concluded.