Irish cattle producers hope the newly-opened Turkish market will help offset lost exports elsewhere, said IFA president Joe Healy.
He said Irish cattle exports are down 26,000 for the year to date, now at 84,000 head. Turkey imported 380,000 head in 2015, mostly from South America plus up to 120,000 head from France.
“Turkey is a high volume live cattle destination, capable of paying very good prices,” said Mr Healy. “Turkey is a real opportunity for Irish live cattle. This will add much-needed competition to the trade for weanlings and younger stock.”
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said the opening of the Turkish market comes at an opportune time with more stock coming to the market in late summer.
He said Turkey’s move follows strenuous department efforts. Irish officials visited Ankara in April.
In May, a Turkish veterinary team visited Irish farms, assembly centres and the Department Veterinary Laboratory in Backweston, Co Kildare.
Minister Creed said: “While the certificate covers cattle for breeding, fattening and slaughter, immediate focus is on cattle of less than 12 months and under 300kgs. There will be opportunities for the export of breeding animals. Irish commercial interests are in contact with Turkish buyers; it is hoped contracts will follow soon.”
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