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Irish-Saudi Trade Focuses on Beef Exports to KSA

Zawya | March 3, 2017

RIYADH: Michael Creed, Irish minister for agriculture, food and marine, wound up a two-day visit recently, signing agreements to bring more varieties of beef to the Kingdom. Creed, who led a delegation representing 16 Irish firms, met with top officials in the public and private sectors, and signed an agreement to give Saudi Arabia better access to Irish beef. Creed earlier told reporters that in a meeting with Hisham Saad Aljadhey, Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) executive president, he secured an agreement that 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.”

He added: “This is a testament to the high regard in which Irish beef is held here and marks the culmination of intensive work by my department, our embassy here in Riyadh, and the industry over recent months.” Last year Ireland exported some € 2.4 million worth of beef to around 70 countries. Creed said that he is “very cognizant of the need both to expand the number of beef markets, but also enhance existing market access given our current exposure to the UK beef market.” He added that minced, processed and cooked beef are all potentially valuable products. Ireland, he said, wants to develop export opportunities for these types of beef, in addition to intact cuts.

Ambassador Cotter added that last year, Saudi Arabia was the third largest non-EU destination for Irish agri-food exports, behind China and the US. Total agriculture food exports to Saudi Arabia increased from € 92 million in 2013 to €136 million in 2016, representing an increase of almost 50 percent over the course of three years. Creed also met with Abdul Rahman Al-Fadli, minister of water, environment and agriculture; Abdullatif Al-Zayani, GCC secretary general; Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO of Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC); Hisham Al-Jadhey, executive president of Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA); and Georges Schorderet, Almarai CEO and senior management team from Al Safi Danone. He also visited a SR 100 million manufacturing plant operated as joint venture between by Irish firm Ornua and a Saudi family, Bajuwaiber, which is operating as Al Wazeen.