Published on Saturday5thNovember2016
Agri Food Trade Mission to North Africa Concludes in Morocco
Minister Creed receiving a gift from Mr. Brahim El Hafidi, President of the Region of Souss Massa and Ms. Zineb El Adaoui, direct representative of the King, His Majesty Mohammed VI
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed today concluded the Moroccan leg of the Irish agri-food trade mission to North Africa after three days of events in Morocco.
Commenting at the conclusion of the Moroccan leg of the trade mission, Minister Creed said:
This three-city visit to Morocco this week has been very successful in raising the profile of the Irish agri-food sector. Morocco is a country with whom we have an existing trade in agri-food already and which is showing phenomenal growth in recent years but this week has highlighted the potential for this to grow much further. The feedback from the visiting Irish companies this week has been extremely positive and I am confident that this week’s visit will yield benefits for the Irish agri-food sector. On a political level we have succeeded in deepening the collaboration between our two Countries on matters of agri-food and we have a number of follow-up priorities including advancing our application for sheepmeat access.
The trade mission continues today to Algeria where senior officials from the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine will lead a delegation of Irish State Agencies, including Bord Bia and SFSI, and Irish agri-food exporters.
Algeria is the second largest importer of powdered milk in the world, after China, and Ireland already provides 4.5% of their milk powder imports and 23% of cheese imports into Algeria. These meetings will focus on strengthening trade links and highlight the unique quality and reliability of Irish dairy produce to key players in the Algerian market.
Minister Creed said:
Algeria is already a significant trade partner with Ireland for exported food products, mainly in the dairy sector. In the last three years Irish agri-food exports to Algeria have almost doubled in value from just under €23 million in 2013 to just over €41 million in 2015. In the first eight months of 2016 the value of Irish food exports to Algeria grew by 39% on the same period in the previous year. This is mainly dominated by dairy but in both this sector and others we believe there is significant scope for growth. Monday’s high level seminar amongst other events will be central to raising Ireland’s profile as a safe sustainable producer of food to Algerian customers. There will also be opportunities to engage with potential importers of Irish livestock.