IRELAND has secured improved access for Irish beef to the US market, with the decision of authorities there to recognise Ireland’s raw meat control system as equivalent to that of the US.
In principle, this extends access to include manufacturing beef intended for grinding, which is typically used in burgers and similar processed products. Ireland is the first EU Member State to achieve this status. Commenting on the news, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said: ‘I am delighted with this confirmation that the US authorities have recognised the equivalent standards overseen by my Department, and granted access to Irish manufacturing beef, building on our existing access from last year.
‘This is the culmination of over a year of intensive work between my Department and its US counterparts. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my US counterpart Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and his officials for their collaboration in helping to reach this milestone.’
The decision follows a January 2015 decision to permit access for raw intact beef from Ireland to the US. Since then, there have been intensive discussions between both sides on a range of technical matters to extend access to manufacturing beef intended for grinding. The new US decision paves the way for the industry to undertake the necessary steps that will enable trade to commence.
Beef from the EU has been banned from the US since it imposed its ban for BSE reasons over fifteen years ago. This ban was only formally lifted in March 2014.