Taoiseach Leads Irish Food Trade Mission To Japan

By Publications Checkout
Taoiseach Leads Irish Food Trade Mission To Japan

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny is visiting Japan this week in an endeavour to boost trade links. Mr Kenny is joined by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, to work on trade co-operation in the agri-food sector, and follows an invitation by the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. Bord Bia and over 25 food industry representatives are also participating in the Trade Mission.

An Taoiseach will meet with R&D firms in the service sector and give a speech at a symposium on green energy, co-organised with the Japan External Trade Organisation.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to visit Japan as part of our ongoing strategy to strengthen Ireland’s international reputation and convey to a wider audience the extent of Ireland’s progress toward economic recovery,” he said. 

Yesterday, An Taoiseach confirmed that a 13-year ban on Irish beef exports to Japan, put in place at the time of the BSE crisis, was to be lifted.

During the visit this week, Ireland’s leading meat and dairy exporters including Glanbia, Kerry Group and Dawn, will meet with potential new customers, visit food facilities and participate in a series of networking seminars with local business leaders. Japan is the third largest destination for Irish food exports to Asia. Irish food and drink exports were valued at €36 million in 2012, led by pork (€14.4m), dairy (€8.1m), and seafood (€6.4m).


Minister Coveney commented on the trip, “This mission represents a significant opportunity for Irish food companies wishing to carve out business opportunities in a premium international market. I am delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the Irish food sector to key Japanese processors and importers, and to have the opportunity to build political contacts with my counterpart in Japan.

"This mission is about building the profile of the Irish agri-food sector in a sophisticated market in which high quality and food safety standards are a prerequisite, and I am delighted to be able to support Irish business in this way.”

Aidan Cotter, Bord Bia chief executive said ahead of the Trade Mission, “Japan imports 60% of its food requirements and on a global scale, the market is a significant importer of meat and dairy products […] The Irish food and beverage industry is in a strong position to cater to this increasing import demand, in particular within the meat, dairy and seafood categories.”

He added that the Trade Mission provides an invaluable opportunity for Ireland ahead of the 2015 abolition of milk quotas. The dairy category is currently enjoying strong growth in Japan, in particular in the case of cheese products. Irish cheese exports were valued at €6.4 million in 2012, a 33% increase in value over the last four years.

© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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