6 JULY 2016
ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan has welcomed the announcement that improved access for Irish beef to the US market has been secured. “The prospect of exporting manufacturing beef to the US is potentially a big deal given the size of the market,” he said.
“The timing of this announcement is also important as there has been a lot of scaremongering regarding cattle prices in the days since the UK voted to leave the EU. However, in the aftermath of Brexit a somewhat weaker euro will be advantageous to exporting to the US. Nonetheless, farmers are used to announcements which do not translate into actual business immediately and we will have to see whether this is another false dawn.”
“However, there is no doubt that getting manufacturing beef into the US market is vital and a potential game changer. Current access has been limited to steak cuts and the resultant trade has made little discernible impact for beef farmers.”
“Manufacturing beef is important because of the potential volumes involved and the need for extra markets for forequarter beef. Of course, any potential benefit must be maximised by a marketing campaign to capitalise on our natural, environmentally friendly production systems, which are predominantly free range, with grass and grass silage making up the bulk of the diet for our cattle”, concluded Mr Phelan.