ICSA urges emphasis on sheep for trade missions

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) has supported a call for a greater emphasis on sheep exports during official trade missions to countries such as China and the US.
ICSA urges emphasis on sheep for trade missions

ICSA sheep committee chairman John Brooks said the focus has been on beef but it would make sense if sheepmeat was also pushed on these diplomatic initiatives.

“We have an excellent product that fits perfectly with the Origin Green strategy and clean, green image but we need more and better markets,” he said.

Mr Brooks said a greater focus on sheep during trade missions is now urgent in light of the potential difficulties in the French market.

“The escalation of protests by French farmers looks like it may put pressure on imports of Irish lamb to France,” he said.

“France has traditionally been the key export market for Irish lamb and any hostility to Irish lamb exports, there, could spell trouble for the sheep sector. We need to ensure that all our eggs are not in the one basket.”

Mr Brooks said markets such as China and the US could be a real asset. The US does not have a significant domestic supply of sheepmeat.

It seems logical that Irish lamb could be a high-value niche product in US restaurants as well as in some retail outlets.

“On the other hand, China could be a vital market to ensure that we can maximise value from the whole lamb,” he said.

Mr Brooks called on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to ensure that sheepmeat is also pushed adequately on future trade delegations.

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Karen Walsh

Karen Walsh

Law of the Land

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