Live exports to Egypt moved a step closer during a trade mission to Cairo led by Minister of State for Trade Pat Breen, his Agriculture colleague Michael Creed said this Wednesday.
Following a meeting between Minister Breen and Egypt's Deputy Minister for Agriculture Dr Mona Mehrez, it has emerged that the Egyptian authorities are willing to consider amending existing health certificates and putting a new certificate for breeding stock in place.
“I welcome the progress made in Cairo today, which follows from a meeting of my Department with the Deputy Minister during her visit to Ireland in July," said Minister Creed. "As a key growth sector in Irish agriculture, my officials will continue to identify other markets for live exports in north Africa and elsewhere."
Initial agreement in 2016
The Department of Agriculture, Bord Bia and Sustainable Food Systems Ireland have been trying to restore live trade with Egypt since 2016, when initial agreement was secured to allow Irish cattle into the country.
However, shipments have failed to materialise.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian beef market has continued to grow. The country's live cattle imports stand at 250,000hd/year and the US Department of Agriculture forecasts that this will increase to 340,000hd next year.
Egyptian importers currently source finished cattle largely from Sudan, and Brazil. In Europe, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands also ship cattle to Egypt.