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First shipment of Irish beef docks in China

Published on 28 September 2018

Earlier this year, Ireland became the first major European beef exporting country to be approved by China and already has six plants approved for beef exports to the mainland. On Sept. 11, the first container of Irish beef to arrive by sea cleared customs in Beijing.

The shipment comes from ABP Food Group, Ireland's largest beef processor and the largest private beef enterprise in Europe, processing over 1 million cattle per year. The beef, which was imported by Beijing Hopewise, will be sold on JD.com under the Pales brand.

"I'm delighted to recognize the partnership between Ireland's largest beef exporter, ABP, and Beijing Hopewise," said Ireland's ambassador to China, Eoin O'Leary.

"Building strategic partnerships that benefit both countries is a very important part of our work. Together, ABP and Hopewise will be bringing premium Irish beef to consumers all over China, who I welcome to discover more about Ireland, Europe's food island!"

Franck Fang, general manager of ABP China, said, "We pride ourselves on producing tailor-made products for each market and building long-term relationships with our partners. In China, we are dedicated to bringing extremely safe, delicious beef to Chinese consumers, combining ABP’s patented "Ultra Tender" process with our DNA traceability system that allows us to trace any piece of beef that we produce back to the cattle it came from."

Ireland is the largest net exporter of beef in the European Union, exporting more than 560,000 tons of beef to over 40 countries worldwide last year. As an EU member state, Ireland is home to leading food safety requirements, which include a comprehensive national traceability scheme and strict regulations controlling medicine usage.

Beef production accounts for more than one-third of agricultural output in Ireland. "Given its importance to Ireland, we hold our beef industry to even higher standards of excellence," said James O'Donnell, Asia director for Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board.

"Through the independently verified Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme, we ensure that every one of our certified producers and processors meets strict standards of food safety, animal welfare, sustainability, environmental protection and more."

Ireland's mild climate, fresh air, pristine soil and plentiful rain make for ideal grass growing conditions, allowing Irish cattle to spend almost all their lives outdoors, grazing on natural forage. Cattle are raised in small, well-managed herds, averaging around 80 cattle per farm and just two cattle per acre of pasture.

"It's a sustainable model of production, something to be cherished in an increasingly industrialized world," O'Leary said.

Ireland is the first country in the world with a national commitment to sustainable food production – Origin Green. Irish beef producers and processors on the scheme have committed to reduce their environmental impact by meeting targets for reduced water usage, carbon emissions, energy consumption, etc. "It's about ensuring that our pristine lands are protected, so that we can continue producing healthy food the natural way for generations to come,” O'Leary said.  end mark

This originally appeared on ChinaDaily.com

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