Ireland to export meat to Qatar, following trade deal

Ireland to export meat to Qatar, following trade deal
Irish farmers will export meat to Qatar, as a blockade on the Gulf state pushes it to find new trading partners.
2 min read
03 July, 2018
Irish farmers have found a new market [AFP]

Irish farmers will export lamb, beef and chicken to Qatar, as a blockade on the Gulf state pushes Doha to find new trading partners. 

Qatar's ministry of public health reached an agreement with Ireland's ministry of agriculture to export meat products to Doha, which has been under blockade by its Gulf neighbours for over a year.

This bring a new supplier of produce for Qatar - eager to diversify its trading partners - while opening up a new market for Irish farmers.

"The opening of this new market is a reflection of the confidence the Qatari authorities have in the rigorous controls and high standards of food safety we have in Ireland," said Ireland's Minister of Agriculture Michael Creed.

"The opening of the Qatari market is the result of on-going efforts by my Department, the Irish Ambassador accredited to Qatar and the agricultural attaché in the Gulf Region in recent times."

Ireland currently exports around $10 million worth of produce to Qatar, mostly dairy products, but the new deal should trade significantly boosted between the two states.

Sheep products will be a particularly lucrative market for Ireland with lamb and mutton making up 35 percent of all meat consumed in Qatar.

Qatar is expected to become a million tonne meat market by 2020. With little livestock in the Gulf state, most meat will have to be imported.

Qatar imported much of its food produce from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states before the blockade, which began in June 2017.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt slapped trade sanctions on Qatar last year, after accusing it of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran, charges Doha strongly denies.

Since then, Qatar has been forced to find new trading partners to feed its country and access supplies, including Turkey, Iran, China, Pakistan and other countries.

Saudi Arabia is embarking on plans to dig a canal along its border with Qatar, effectively making its Gulf rival an island.