Exports of Irish sheepmeat to Japan can commence from next Friday, 19 July, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has announced.

The Japanese authorities have now formally agreed the export verification programme and export certificate as proposed by his department.

It follows an agreement reached during Minister Creed’s trade mission to Tokyo last month.

Ireland now has access for both beef and sheepmeat exports to Japan, which he said was a strong endorsement of Ireland's food safety and quality credentials, and of the working relationships at Government and official level.

“I want to thank my Japanese ministerial counterparts and their officials for the rapid conclusion of the formalities of sheepmeat access, following our detailed discussions last month,” he said.

He also thanked “team Ireland” in Tokyo, led by ambassador Paul Kavanagh, and including Bord Bia’s new Tokyo office.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed presents an Irish rugby shirt to Japanese Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Takamori Yoshikawa.

The Japanese market

  • In 2018, total agri-food exports to Japan amounted to €115m, double the level of exports in 2016.
  • Last year pigmeat exports to Japan amounted to €41m.
  • Dairy products, mainly cheddar cheese, amounted to €40m.
  • Fish (€14m) and beverages (€8m) are other important export categories.
  • Beef exports to Japan amounted to €3.6m last year.
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