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Minister Creed secures agreement in principle on Irish sheepmeat access to Japan

Christian Fernsby |
Minister Michael Creed T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced that agreement had been reached in principle to allow access for Irish Sheepmeat to the Japanese market as he concluded the first leg of this week’s trade mission, with Government to Government meetings in Tokyo.

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Minister Creed first met both his counterpart, Japanese Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), Takamori Yoshikawa; and the Vice Minister for Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), Masayoshi Shintani.

These Ministerial meetings followed detailed technical meetings involving senior officials from both Ministries and the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, supported by the Irish Embassy in Tokyo.

Afterwards Minister Creed commented “I am really delighted to announce that we have now reached agreement in principle on market access for Irish sheepmeat.

“Details will be finalised by an exchange of letters between my Department and the relevant Japanese officials.

“When this documentation is finalised, interested plants, who meet the relevant conditions, will be able to apply to my Department for approval to export.”

Traceability was a key part of the discussions.

On the basis of the introduction of electronic identification of sheep, the Japanese authorities were satisfied that this enhanced traceability for Irish sheepmeat would be compatible with their market access criteria.

Today’s agreement builds on the removal last month of the under 30 months restriction for Irish beef exports to Japan, meaning that all Irish beef is now eligible for export to this very valuable market.

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