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Minister Doyle Opens Irish Agri-Food Trade Mission to Vietnam

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D. today led a delegation of 30 Irish food exporters on the first day of a trade mission with events in Hanoi, Vietnam. 

Speaking from Hanoi Minister Doyle said “This is the first ever Ministerial led Irish food and drink trade mission to Vietnam and my objective is to raise the profile of Ireland as a source for safe, secure and sustainably produced food. While there is existing trade in Irish dairy, pigmeat and seafood here we know that there potential is there for this to significantly grow. With a young open and well educated population of 90 million and a growing middle class, this is a market with enormous potential for our exporters”.

Minister Doyle commenced the visit with a series of political engagements with his Vietnamese counterparts, notably bilateral meetings with the Vietnamese Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vice-Minister for Planning and Investment respectively.

“Trade between Ireland and Vietnam continues to grow across many different sectors of the economy, especially agri-food. I was delighted to have the opportunity to reiterate our commitment to furthering this relationship. It is clear that the sustainable intensification of our respective agri-food sectors is a national priority for both countries. I also took the opportunity in these bilateral meetings to further our trade priorities, notably the formal submission of Ireland’s application for access to the Vietnamese beef market.” Minister Doyle said after his meetings.

The Minister later hosted a major conference in Hanoi called “Introducing the Irish food Industry”. This conference targeted key Vietnamese Government officials, food buyers, retailers, media and Irish exporters. The speakers included comprehensive presentations on Ireland`s regulatory systems in food safety, animal welfare as well as the Origin Green sustainability programme Individual Irish food exporters and Vietnamese food buyers then shared experiences on successfully doing business between the two countries.  

Commenting on this event the Minister said “this high-level conference was intended as an opportunity in raising the profile of Ireland as sustainable premium producer of food and it very much succeeded in doing so. It is gaining huge coverage by Vietnamese media with four local television channels and other media covering the events thus helping to disseminate our messages to our intended audience. This event also represented for a great platform for the Irish businesses here to make customer contacts for the future”. 

Bord Bia CEO Aidan Cotter outlined the assurances provided by Origin Green to Vietnamese consumers and the market analysis  and ethnographic work carried out by Bord Bia`s Consumer Insight team. Mr. Cotter commented “Our Consumer Insight work has taught us what Vietnamese consumers value in terms of taste and sustainability, with balance in food as in life being an integral part of the Vietnamese culture.   The Insight Team brought a group of Irish companies to Vietnam earlier this year to experience the food and retail culture to optimise their returns from the marketplace and inspire new ideas on innovative product development and packaging that will be attractive to Vietnamese buyers and consumers. The young well educated population here places a premium on food security and food sustainability, not surprising given the threat to Vietnam of climate change.  We will be explaining to food buyers and government officials how Origin Green works and how it assures them of a supply of safe secure and sustainably produced quality food”.

Concluding the Minister saidVietnam enjoys many of the characteristics that make it an attractive market for Irish food exporters.  It has a young population, the fastest growing middle class in Asia and a rising affluence. Vietnamese consumers share the concerns of other consumers in relation to food safety, food security and sustainable food production. Irish dairy, pork and seafood products are already widely available in Vietnam and we hope that other Irish meat products will soon join them. The priority on this visit is to raise the profile even further. I am more convinced than ever, as are the Irish companies here on the trade mission that the agri-food relationship between Ireland and Vietnam is only beginning and offers great hope for the future.


Notes for Editors

·         Ireland`s food exports to Vietnam have grown six-fold in six years and last year were worth almost €36 million.  While dairy products were the most valuable, pigmeat beverages, seafood also contributed. 

·          In 2014 Bord Bia carried out a pigmeat market study here and identified enormous potential which is being exploited by the industry with increased exports of 400% between 2014 and 2015. 

·         Rice is the main crop produced in Vietnam.

·         The population of Vietnam is set to rise to 100 million people by 2024; this is equivalent to around one fifth of the current EU-28 population. The rate of urbanisation will reach 40% by 2024.

·         Vietnam is the sixth largest pork producer in the world. Pork accounts for 65% of national meat consumption or around four million tonnes.

·         Retail sales via ‘modern channels’ are forecast to reach 45% by 2020.

·         Hypermarkets will become increasingly important in the future.

·         The foodservice sector remains underdeveloped.

·         Imports of pigmeat product are dominated by fifth quarter cuts. According to industry sources, between 25 to 30% of imports relate to pig heart. Large quantities of trim and shoulder meat are also being imported.

The agenda for the seminar “Introducing the Irish Food Industry” included:

  • A keynote speech from Minister Doyle on the expansion plans for Ireland’s agri-food sector
  • An overview of building strategic partnerships between Ireland and Vietnam from Mr. Nguyen Hieu Liem, the CEO of Anova Corporation.
  • A presentation by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on Ireland’s food safety controls;
  • A panel discussion on what Ireland can offer Vietnam which included presentations on:
    • supports for inward investment from Enterprise Ireland
    • presentation on possible technical assistance from Sustainable Food Systems Ireland
  • A presentation from Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive of Bord Bia on the sustainability claims which are at the heart of Irish food production and what this means in terms of  a selling point for customers.

To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 100/2016 (pdf 510Kb) 

Added 05.09.16

Minister Andrew Doyle TD meeting Vice Minister of Ministry of Planning and Investment Mr Nguyen The Phuong with Ambassador Cait Moran, Secretary General DAFM Aidan O’Driscoll, CEO Bord Bia Aidan Cotter, Michael Cantwell EI and David Butler SFSI on the first day of the trade mission to Asia.

Added 05.09.16

Minister Andrew Doyle TD meeting Vice Minister of Ministry of Planning and Investment Mr Nguyen The Phuong on the first day of the trade mission to Asia.

Added 05.09.16

Minister Andrew Doyle TD meeting with Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr Nguyen Xuan Cuong on the first day of the trade mission to Asia.


Date Released: 05 September 2016