Speaking on the first day of the Irish agri-food trade mission to the Gulf region, Minister Creed said that the enhanced trade deal for Irish beef was secured following discussions with the executive president of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Professor Hisham Saad Aljadhey.
“This agreement will make a difference to Irish companies wishing to export beef to Saudi Arabia, by adding processed, cooked, minced and bone-in beef to the products that can be exported to Saudi Arabia,” the minister said.
Also discussed in the meeting was the potential to begin the process of gaining market access for Irish sheepmeat to Saudi Arabia, as well as certification issues for the dairy sector.
Total agri-food exports to Saudi Arabia increased from €92m in 2013 to €136m in 2016
“Last year Saudi Arabia was the third-largest non-EU destination for Irish agri-food exports, only behind China and the US. Total agri-food exports to Saudi Arabia increased from €92m in 2013 to €136m in 2016,” the minister said in a speech at the Irish embassy in Riyadh.
Minister Creed is joined on the trade mission by representatives from the Department, Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Sustainable Food Systems Ireland.
He also met the Saudi Arabian minister for agriculture, HE Eng Abdulrahman A Alfadley, to discuss a number of potential areas for mutual cooperation in the agri-food sector.
The Green Isle Foods Goodfellas pizza range was also launched by Minister Creed at Danube, one of the largest Saudi retail outlets, at beginning of the trade mission.