More than half of the beef being processed in the US is from the Republic of Ireland, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with Ireland taking up nearly half of all beef imports.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said that as of June, Ireland was the third-largest beef producer in the world, behind the United States and Mexico.
The Irish government is currently negotiating a new $1.2 billion contract with the U,S.
to supply about half of its beef, which the government hopes will be the most efficient way of moving through the beef-farming industry, said David O’Sullivan, a spokesman for the Department of Energy.
He said the contract would be worth around $8 billion, up from $7 billion last year.
The government has already invested $300 million in a new plant to meet the new requirements.
But the Irish government has also been working to boost production in recent months.
The country has spent more than $1 billion on new facilities, with another $300m earmarked for new equipment, and about $200m to beef up its cattle-processing plants.
The government has said it is now aiming for a 70% increase in production from 2019 to 2020, to produce more than 7 million tonnes of beef, a number which would be almost twice the current level.
It said it expected production to rise to 10 million tonnes by 2020, up significantly from its current level of 5 million tonnes.
O’Sullivan said the Irish beef is far from perfect, and that the government has made some progress in terms of quality, safety and price, but the government still faces many challenges.
“The main challenges in the Irish market are that beef is a global commodity, that there is still a long way to go before it can be fully processed, that the beef industry is still growing fast and it is still being used for other purposes,” he said.
“We are making significant progress in many areas, but there is a long road ahead.”
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the Government was working hard to meet beef needs, and is confident that it will have a better deal with the United Kingdom, which accounts for about 15% of Irish exports.
Kenny, a former farm worker, said he is confident the Government will be able to meet demand for Irish beef, despite the difficulties.
“There are a number of different factors that go into what we produce and what we export to the world,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme.
“It is all about how we do it, how we produce it and how we sell it.”
I’m sure we will be successful in meeting demand, but I don’t know how far it will go.
“A lot of people want to be involved in this, but unfortunately it’s not easy.
I hope the British Government will listen and listen to what we are saying and take into account the fact that we are a small country and there is always a risk that if we don’t have a big, powerful country like the United [Kingdom], then we might not be able.”
Irish beef production was worth around £1.3 billion last April, but this is expected to fall to around £600 million by 2021.