Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD today concludes the Japan and Singapore legs of his agri-food trade mission to South East Asia.
Minister McConalogue’s meetings with his Ministerial counterparts in Japan, and the CEO of Singapore Food Agency in Singapore, strengthened the existing Government relationships in both countries.
In relation to meat market access, Ireland has access to the Singapore market for all meats. Efforts in Japan have delivered significant new market access for Irish beef, sheepmeat and pigmeat products over recent years and this mission provided an opportunity to raise Ireland’s current poultry meat application.
The trade mission showcased Ireland’s vision for a food systems approach to the sustainable development of the sector, Food Vision 2030. There were a wide range of engagements with key commercial stakeholders in the Japanese and Singaporean markets and their Irish suppliers which underline the extensive business between Ireland and these priority markets for Irish agri-food exports.
Minister McConalogue said: “Japan, Singapore and the wider South East Asian are really important markets with educated and informed consumers. The markets are focused on securing high quality and safe food, a demand which matches the quality food produced on Irish family farmers.
“Ireland’s relationships in the region are going from strength to strength. This trade mission has confirmed that the Irish agri-food sector is very well placed to meet the sophisticated needs of consumers in these markets. The quality and safety of our world class food products are in high demand, Irish exporters have made significant gains in recent years in both these markets, developing relationships and reputations with key stakeholders and there continue to be significant opportunities for Irish business in these high value markets.
“My Department and Bord Bia are fully committed to continuing to build on the work achieved in this successful trade mission to support the sector in realising their ambition to grow the value of exports in the region.”
In Singapore Minister McConalogue launched Irish participation in the Food Hotel Asia trade fair, the largest food and hospitality trade event in Asia. The Minister had a number of high-level engagements with key trade customers of Irish food and drink in the region. Minister will conclude the Singapore leg of the trade mission by celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kerry Group, whose regional technology and innovation centre in Singapore represents a clear example of Ireland’s role in leading the world on food innovation.
Minister McConalogue said “I acknowledge the support on this trade mission of Ireland’s new Ambassador to Singapore, Sarah McGrath, her team in the Embassy and the Bord Bia Singapore team.
“Team Ireland in both Tokyo and Singapore are working tirelessly to deliver positive outcomes for Ireland and their ongoing commitment to supporting Irish Agri-food sector will play an important role in the sector’s efforts to fulfil their future growth ambition for the region.”
Following on from the launch of Irish beef in retail in Singapore, Musgrave has signed a new partnership deal to supply over 400 products from its SuperValu Own Brand range to Singapore’s premium grocery platform, RedMart. Musgrave’s partners, Bord Bia and Enterprise Ireland, were key facilitators in finalising the agreement.
Commenting on the announcement, Michael Murphy, Bord Bia Interim CEO said: “We’ve already had huge success on this leg of the trade mission – launching Irish beef and lamb into retail in Singapore and we now welcome the news that Musgrave has a significant listing with this leading online grocery platform. Bord Bia is delighted to have helped facilitate this new listing for Musgrave, which gives Singapore consumers access to a huge range of fresh quality Irish food from a single consolidation point. We believe this opportunity will help to unlock further commercial opportunities for Irish food and drink companies in South East Asia.”
The final leg of this Trade Mission to South East Asia to Vietnam will be led by Minister of State with special responsibility for New Market Development Martin Heydon TD.
Minister Heydon said: “I look forward to engaging in bilateral discussions with my Vietnamese government counterparts as we work to build on our existing markets and develop new opportunities for our sustainable food and drink offering. I will also be working closely with Enterprise Ireland to promote our innovative agri-tech industry with commercial partners in the region.”