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Irish Agri-Food Trade Mission to North Africa Concludes in Morocco and Moves to Algeria

 

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today concluded the Moroccan leg of the Irish agri-food trade mission to North Africa after three days of events in Morocco. The mission will now continue to Algeria for three days of official meetings and promotional events.

Minister Creed concluded the events in Morocco with a series of political and commercial meetings in the Agadir region yesterday.

Commenting on his meeting with Ms. Zineb El Adaoui who is the direct representative of the King, His Majesty Mohammed VI and with the President of the Region of Souss Massa Mr. Brahim El Hafidi the Minister said “The Agadir region has a proud history of agricultural production particularly in the horticulture sector. The meeting gave us the opportunity to outline our origin green programme and also discuss areas of potential mutual cooperation under the umbrella of Sustainable Food Systems Ireland".

This followed the high-level events the previous day in Rabat and Casablanca. 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.  Events in Algeria will include bilaterals with the Ministry of Agriculture and with the Algerian State Agency ONIL who manage public procurement of dairy products making them one of the largest buyers of dairy produce in the world. The next few days will also include a series of commercial and promotional events including a major seminar, organised by Bord Bia, promoting Irish Dairy called “Food Ireland – Safe, Secure and Sustainable”.

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.

Commenting on the Algerian leg of the visit, 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”.

Notes for editors

  • Ireland’s agri-food exports to Algeria were worth over €41m in 2015, up from less than €30M three years previously.
  • These figures are driven by strong growth in our dairy exports, particularly powders, butter, cheese and caseins. Dairy exports to Algeria in 2015 were over €40M.
  • Our statistics for the year to date in 2016 show that these upward trends continue with exports increasing by approximately 14% in the dairy area for the period to the middle of the year.

 View this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 153/2016 (pdf 450Kb) 

added 05.11.16

Minister Creed and the Official Delegation from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with Regional Representatives from the Agadir Region of Morocco.

added 05.11.16

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, on the Trade Mission to Morocco.

added 05.11.16

Minister Creed and the Official Delegation from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with Senior Management from COPAG on the factory line.

Date Released: 05 November 2016