The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, will this week lead the first leg of an agri-food trade mission to Asia, covering Japan and Singapore.
In a statement on Gov.ie, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine highlighted that Japan and the South-East Asian region are priority/high-value growth markets for Irish food and drink exports.
Speaking ahead of the trade mission, Minister McConalogue stated, “This trade mission will strengthen and build ties between Ireland and the region in relation to agri-food trade.
“It will raise awareness of Ireland’s sustainable food production systems and our commitment to supporting business-to-business relationships, which can make a real difference to Irish food and drink exporters.”
Bord Bia’s launch of its three-year regional strategy will be the focus of its part of the trade mission to Japan and South-East Asia.
Its new regional strategy outlines a target of €800 million in Irish food and drink exports to South-East Asia by 2025, led by the dairy and meat sectors.
According to the statement, total agri-food exports to Japan in 2021 reached almost €180 million – a 20% increase when compared to 2020, and a 350% increase over the last decade, according to CSO trade statistics.
Last year, dairy exports to Japan – mainly Cheddar cheese – amounted to €66 million, with pig meat exports at €50 million and beef exports at over €28 million. Fish (€16 million) and beverages (€10 million) are other important export categories.
“Ireland’s positive relationship with Japan is going from strength to strength, as evidenced by the Taoiseach’s recent visit in July and the vibrant trading partnership between our countries,” Minister McConalogue added.
“This has seen Irish food exports to Japan continue to grow over the last few years, even when faced with the recent global supply chain shocks. We share many cultural outlooks on food and farming, so this will be a great opportunity to enhance our relationship.”
Singapore is a critical regional hub in South-East Asian supply chains.
In Singapore, Minister McConalogue and Bord Bia CEO Michael Murphy will attend the Food & Hotel Asia (FHA) trade show, where ten Irish companies are participating.
FHA is the largest trade event of its kind in the region, attracting over 80,000 visitors.
FHA will feature a Bord Bia pavilion aimed at building a reputation within the trade media of the Irish food and drink industry.
Minister McConalogue stated that the South-East Asian market continues to grow at pace and represents a priority target market for the diversification of Irish food exports.
“I look forward to setting out Ireland’s commitment to sustainable food production and our ambition for Ireland to be a world leader in sustainable food systems, encompassing sustainability in all its dimensions – environmental, social and economic,” he said.
Minister of State Martin Heydon, who has special responsibility for new-market development, will lead the second leg of the trade mission, to Vietnam, next week.
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