Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD today concludes his first full trade mission to China with engagements with leading Chinese customers for Irish food in Shanghai.
Minister McConalogue commented: “The trade mission this week has allowed us reconnect, strengthen partnerships, support the Irish agri-food sector in building new opportunities in China, and improved our understanding of the Chinese market”.
In the Shanghai leg of the trade mission, the Minister led a range of activities promoting of Ireland’s beef, pigmeat, seafood and spirit drinks; including at the SIAL Food and Beverage trade show, top level customer meetings on beef, Bird Bia’s EU Meat Promotion Seminar, and masterclasses showcasing Irish seafood and Irish whiskey.
Minister McConalogue said: “This is a market which presents significant opportunities for Irish products given the increasing demand for high quality food in China. From my engagements this week, it is clear there is a growing demand for the safe, sustainable and top quality food, seafood and beverage products produced by our farmers, fishers and food and drink companies.”
The Government will continue to support the industry in realising these opportunities which will increase the contribution of the sector to the economy and support the sustainable development of the sector, particularly for our family farms.’
Minister McConalogue’s meetings with his Ministerial counterparts in China included discussions on meat market access issues and these discussions will continue by officials at a technical level later in the week.
The Minister commented: “In-person engagement on market access issues is the most effective way to achieve positive results. I am pleased that discussions this week, both with my counterparts and at official level will allow us to continue to make progress on these issues over the coming period.”
Bord Bia CEO Jim O’Toole said, “Throughout the week, Chinese customers showed a deep interest in the full range of sustainable Irish food products covered by the Origin Green programme. At our industry seminars and events in Beijing and Shanghai, Bord Bia demonstrated to local food buyers, trading partners and media how the Irish food industry can work with them in responding to consumer demands for safely produced, high-quality food.
“Given that this market has just reopened following pandemic restrictions, the high levels of engagement between Irish exporters and buyers is encouraging and assures me that business opportunities in China will continue to grow.”
At the conclusion of the trade mission Minister McConalogue said: “I acknowledge the great support on this trade mission of Ireland’s Ambassador to China, Dr Ann Derwin, her team in the Embassy of Ireland Beijing, Ireland’s Consulate General team in Shanghai, as well as the Bord Bia and Enterprise Ireland teams in China.
“This week I witnessed Team Ireland in China in action, working tirelessly to deliver positive outcomes for Ireland, and their ongoing commitment to supporting Irish agri-food exports will play an important role in the sector’s efforts to fulfil their future growth ambitions in this market.”