Published on Monday27thFebruary2017

Creed Secures Enhanced Access to Saudi Arabia for Irish Beef

20170227 Creed

Minister Michael Creed and Prof. Dr Hisham Saad Aljadhey, the Executive President of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) exchanging signed agreement on enhanced access for Irish Beef to Saudi Arabia

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed this morning announced an  agreement on enhanced access for Irish beef to Saudi Arabia,  on the first day of the Irish agri-food Trade Mission to the Gulf region.

This agreement follows high level discussions this afternoon between Minister Creed and Prof. Dr Hisham Saad Aljadhey, the Executive President of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, which is the competent authority in Saudi Arabia for market access matters.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Creed said:

This agreement will make a difference to Irish companies wishing to export beef to Saudi Arabia, by adding processed, cooked, minced and bone-in beef to the products that can be exported to Saudi Arabia. This is testament to the high regard in which Irish beef is held here and marks the culmination of intensive work by my Department, our Embassy here in Riyadh and the industry over recent months.

The Minister added:

Last year Ireland exported some €2.4 billion worth of beef to around 70 countries. I am very cognisant of the need both to expand the number of beef markets but also to enhance existing market access given our current exposure to the UK beef market.  Minced, processed and cooked beef, are all potentially valuable products and we want to develop export opportunities for them, in addition to intact cuts of beef.

The Minister also delivered a speech to attended guests at a reception in Embassy of Ireland Riyadh, hosted by Ambassador Tony Cotter, where he outlined Irelands Origin Green programme and our unique offering of safe, sustainably produced quality food.

Concluding the Minister said:

Last year Saudi Arabia was the third largest non-EU destination for Irish agri-food exports, only behind China and the USA. Total Agri food exports to Saudi Arabia increased from €92 million in 2013 to €136 million in 2016, representing an increase of almost 50% over the course of only 3 years.