Bord Bia will host 14 Irish exporters on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s trade mission to China this week.
It is the first trade mission since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, following three years of restricted borders.
The focus of the trade mission, led by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, is about raising the profile of Irish food and drink with customers in Beijing and Shanghai, through a series of events, and supporting the 14 Irish meat and dairy companies representing Ireland at SIAL, the largest food-and-drink trade show in China.
Speaking ahead of the trade mission, Minister McConalogue said, “With the resumption of Irish beef exports to the market, this is an excellent opportunity to further promote the sector in China, and to communicate Ireland’s grass-fed and premium farming credentials for both meat and dairy.
“It is timely that it is our first trip to China in three years, as it comes amid an improved economic outlook plus a growing demand for value-added dairy ingredients, to complement the fast-growing Chinese dairy sector.
“Bord Bia does a tremendous job promoting our world-class food and drink at home and abroad, and I know it will help drive further added-value activity in China.”
In 2022, total agri-food exports to China were valued at €722 million, of which €683 million represented food and drink, Bord Bia noted.
This positions China as Ireland’s sixth-largest trade destination for food and drink by value, accounting for 4% of all exports.
Jim O’Toole, CEO, Bord Bia, said that, in addition to the positive economic drivers, there are a range of consumer trends and changing behaviours in the Chinese market that are driving opportunities for Irish exports.
“China has one of the largest populations in the world, and its GDP per capita has increased tenfold in the last 20 years, making it the world’s second-largest economy today,” O’Toole said.
“A growing middle class with high disposable incomes in Chinese cities is creating an aspirational consumer base, with an increasing interest in premium food products and access to sophisticated digital retail platforms. Irish exporters are ideally placed to service these consumer demands, as Ireland’s focus on sustainably produced high-quality food and drink exports, backed by the Origin Green programme, offers the perfect solution to this growing Chinese market.”
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The trade mission will begin in Beijing on 15 May, with bilateral government meetings between Irish and Chinese officials, while Bord Bia facilitates a series of meetings with customers of Irish food and drink.
A major focus of the trip will be on the upcoming promotion of Irish beef and pig meat across China, in both retail – online and in store – and foodservice channels.
According to Bord Bia, the visit will also include an EU meat trade seminar in Shanghai and a chef masterclass in Beijing. Both events will bring together two of Bord Bia’s EU co-funded campaigns: ‘European Beef and Lamb – Ireland, Working with Nature’ and ‘European Pork and Poultry – Excellence in Food Safety and Quality Assurance.’
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© 2023 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. For more A-brand news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.