Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board and 15 Irish seafood companies are visiting the biggest seafood fair in Asia, the China Seafood and Fisheries Expo in Qingdao, this week in an effort to boost Irish seafood exports to China even further.
This follows a considerable rise in Irish seafood trade of 18% for the first half of 2016 based on the equivalent period last year. Exports to Asia is now worth €15 million to the Ireland's seafood Industry.
According to Bord Bia`s Director of Asian Markets James O’Donnell: “As incomes grow and urbanization continues in China, a rapidly growing middle class demands ever-greater quantities of imported seafood – per capita seafood consumption has risen from 10kg in 1990 to 35kg in 2015.”
Recent years have seen the broadening of exports to China from the traditional focus on pelagic species, to include premium shellfish, such as brown crab, razors and oysters. Irish shellfish alone occupies a premium position in China. Since June of this there had been an 88% increase in shellfish exports to China, which has increased in value by 132%.
This is largely due to the fact that Chinese consumers admire the environmental credentials of Irish shellfish and value Ireland’s safe and clean production systems.
He added: “The next two decades will see China transform into a seafood consumer in line with middle class income growth. Imports of finfish and shellfish continue to increase as China’s appetite grows while marine resources are being depleted. Ireland is well-positioned to meet this demand, and Bord Bia works consistently to assist the growth of this trade: each year we meet with over 50 seafood importers, and promote seafood at consumer level working with online suppliers.”
The China Seafood and Fisheries Expo features a reported 1,300 companies from 45 countries, as well as 22 national pavilions and is expected to attract over 29,000 visitors.
“2016 has also seen the launch of “East Meets West”, a collaboration with food bloggers and 5-star chefs to promote the preparation of Irish seafood to Chinese tastes” O’Donnell said.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern