South Korean Market Opens to Irish Beef Exports

May 22, 2024 | Farm Viability

The Irish Beef sector has received a significant boost with the announcement that South Korea is to open its market to beef exports from Ireland. South Korea has a population of 50 million people and is a significant market to gain access to for Irish Agri-food exporters. It is hoped that many more Irish food products will also gain access to South Korea in the years ahead.

South Korean consumers are the highest per-capita consumers of meat across Asia, with consumption of 79kg per person. Of this 17kg is beef. Furthermore, beef consumption is predicted to grow by 1% year on year over the next four years. Coupled with this increasing demand, South Korea is only 35% self-sufficient in beef production, meaning it relies heavily on imported beef to satisfy its sizeable demand. In 2020, South Korea imported almost 500,000t of beef, of which 92% came from the US and Australia. For this reason, Bord Bia and The Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) have been targeting gaining access to the South Korean Beef market for several years.

A detailed audit was performed by the Korean authorities of Irish plants in April 2024. Seven Irish beef plants were approved and the Irish authorities will continue to work with the South Korean authorities so that the number of approved Irish beef plants can be increased in the future. This brings the number of markets for Irish beef to over 70 and work continues on gaining access to other markets, including Vietnam and Thailand.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. paid tribute to all those who contributed to this success, including the Irish Embassy in Seoul and his own Department, who together led this effort, along with Bord Bia, other Government Departments and agencies, the European Commission, as well as the food industry and farmers.

Go to our Schemes page to find out more about schemes that are available specifically to the Beef sector under the CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027.

To find out about the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme, please click here.

Information on the National Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme can be found here.

Related Articles