A major promotional effort is needed to get Irish live cattle exported to Turkey, says Michael Guinan, chair of ICMSA’s livestock committee.
He said all state agencies — including the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine and An Bord Bia — must put together a coordinated and huge effort into ensuring that Ireland secures as much as possible of the current 50,000-head tender.
“The Brexit decision has brought a level of uncertainty to the cattle trade that needs to be addressed, and securing a contract with Turkey to supply live cattle would be just the injection that the cattle trade needs as we head into the autumn,” said Mr Guinan.
He added that he understands that Irish live exporters are anxious to get this trade up and running quickly and in this regard, it is hugely important that the state agencies play a very active role in assisting them in their efforts to secure part of the tender.
He noted that competition will drive cattle prices and live exports are hugely important in this regard.
“Turkey has a strong demand for live cattle and ICMSA believes that Ireland can become an important supplier to a scale that will drive competition for the meat plants and provide farmers with an alternative outlet for their cattle.
“Ireland simply must secure as much of the current tender as possible and major efforts will be required to develop this trade over the remainder of 2016 and into 2017”, said Mr Guinan.
Meanwhile, IFA president Joe Healy intends to highlight the implications of Brexit for Irish farming and the farm income crisis as the priority items for the sector, when he meets Agriculture Minister Michael Creed at next Tuesday’s IFA executive council.
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