Commenting on the announcement that US authorities will permit the importation of Irish beef for their ‘Ground Beef’ or ‘Hamburger’ sector, the Chairperson of North Cork ICMSA, Julian O’Keeffe, said that this was a welcome development and a recognition by the US authorities that Irish standards regarding beef were every bit as demanding and our standards as high as anything they might expect from any producing country.

The Meelin-Newmarket farmer said that the announcement was particularly welcome in light of threat posed by recent developments in our major UK beef export market and he stressed that there must be opportunities to develop what could be a significant US market in the high-end, ‘Green’ or grass-based beef for grinding.

The announcement had to be followed-up by a concerted marketing drive that stressed the premium credentials of Irish beef and which could, in turn, provide the kind of impetus needed to ‘bump up’ the US export figures which he regretted to note had, so far, been frankly disappointing.