There is no room for complacency when it comes to developing the Irish beef sector, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed told a meeting of the Beef Forum.
Presiding at his first meeting of the Forum, he said it is important all stakeholders are working together to face the challenges ahead.
A range of supports is in place for the beef sector under the Department’s €4 billion Rural Development Fund but he said the market also needs to be contributing to on-farm viability.
Minister Creed said he intends to establish a meat implementation group, with representation from stakeholders. It will focus solely on the sector’s recommendations in the Food Wise 2025 strategy.
He will also shortly establish a Sector Subgroup to drive the implementation of the 75 meat actions in the strategy, under an independent chairperson.
“There is no doubt that there are challenges on the horizon not least the uncertainty as a result of the recent UK referendum.
“This is our largest market for beef exports and it’s important the sector is ready for any changes which may be coming.
“As part of our overall contingency planning, I have established a dedicated unit in my Department to work on these issues.
“I have also convened a consultative committee of stakeholders to ensure a full exchange of information as the negotiations proceed,” he said, noting it has already met and will arrange to do so when necessary.
Mr Creed said he also intends to lead a trade delegation in early September to China, Singapore, and Vietnam where access for Irish beef will be among the main priorities.
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