The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine has announced that Minister Michael Creed will lead a large delegation of Irish food industry representatives, on a weeklong trade mission to China and Hong Kong.
The trade mission commenced yesterday Monday (May 14, 2018) and will see over 20 official engagements over four cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Minister Creed will meet key influencers in the Chinese administration, including Minister Zhang Mao and Minister Han Changfu.
Raising Ireland's Profile
Speaking in advance of the mission, Minister Creed stressed the importance of strengthening trading relationships against the background of Brexit, and creating opportunities for the Irish agri-food sector to grow in international markets.
He said, “The value of Irish agri-food exports to China continues to grow and this is welcome. However, the partnership between Ireland and China goes far beyond a transactional trading arrangement.
“This is about cooperation at multiple levels. Political visits in both directions at the very highest level, technical engagement between officials providing assurance on food safety standards, and a programme internships in my Department for Chinese veterinary officials, have all played an important part in building trust and developing key relationships.”
Ireland’s agri-food exports to China have increased approximately five-fold from around €200 million in 2010 to nearly €1 billion last year and it has become Ireland’s third largest market overall. Dairy exports to China reached €667 million in 2017, and pig-meat exports have increased from €37 million to €100.3 million between 2012 and 2017.
Creed added, “We have a particular opportunity this week to present the Irish beef sector to potential buyers and distributors, following the recent success in obtaining access to the Chinese market. We also want to build on existing trade links in other areas including dairy, pig meat and seafood. We want to highlight the credentials of Ireland’s food and drink sector from a food safety, sustainability and authenticity perspective, in order to develop a unique selling point for Irish product.”
It was announced in mid-April that Ireland would be the first European country to export its beef to Chinese markets.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.