Progressive talks took place to establish if Ireland could help Turkey meet its need to import half a million head of live cattle every year. Trade reps think the Republic can supply about fifth of the Turkey’s live cattle demand.
“Based on the discussion we had, Ireland could supply up to 100,000 head of this requirement on an annual basis,” said IFA’s national livestock chairman Angus Woods after the high-level meeting.
Wood met ESK’s director general Ethem Kali, Salih Turgay Isik of the Turkish Department of Agriculture and several buyers of live Irish cattle.
Around 17,000 live cattle have already been shipped to Turkey by Ireland this year, according to the IFA. Almost 20,000 were sold the year before.
“Turkey wants to develop the trade with Ireland and it is very important that this is fully facilitated in every way,” said Woods. “We discussed how we can increase supplies from Ireland by matching our seasonal production with the Turkish specification requirements. We also discussed various issues around weight, age and quarantine requirements.”
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Turkey has become a market of some significance for Ireland’s beef and livestock industry and last year tapped into the country’s coveted beef genetics by importing 400,000 artificial insemination straws.
Still, trade from Ireland represents a minority of the live cattle arriving into Turkey. Six in 10 cattle imported by Turkey come from either Brazil or Uruguay, while some European countries supply the remaining 40%. Turkey restricts France, a big exporter of live cattle, due to Bluetongue disease.
Irish cattle sold to Turkey tend to be young finishing bulls weighing less than 300 kilograms and under one year of age.