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Creed Commences Trade Mission to China & Singapore. Doyle Moves onto Next Leg of Trade Mission in South Korea

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. began the Chinese leg of a major trade mission to Asia today. The Minister is accompanied by representatives of major Irish agri-food and agri-tech companies as well as officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, Sustainable Food Systems Ireland, The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority and Teagasc.

Speaking from Beijing, the Minister said “Trade missions play a crucial role promoting Irish food and drink abroad, in developing trading relationships, improving commercial opportunities and furthering market access. This is a real ‘Team Ireland’ effort and I am delighted to commence my first Trade Mission as Minister. This mission marks the culmination of intensive work by my Department with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, our Embassy in China and the agencies over recent months, providing Irish Companies here with an opportunity to engage with potential customers and business partners. The combined population of the four countries on the itinerary is around 1.5 billion. There are great opportunities for a food island like Ireland to avail of, with our reputation for safe food and sustainable production.” 

Minister Creed today visited the Sanyuan Dairy Factory. The Sanyuan Group is a key state-owned group of companies based on agriculture and animal husbandry in China. Minister Creed commented “I had an excellent meeting with the General Manager of Sanyuan Dr. Chen and Irish Dairy companies were afforded an opportunity to present themselves to one of the leading dairy companies in China. This company has a history of trading with Irish dairy processors and I hope that this activity will continue to grow into the future. I also hope that Sanyuan representatives will be able to visit Ireland in the future to see first-hand our own dairy sector in operation. I am delighted that Dairygold and Teagasc, were able to sign a Memo of Understanding with Sanyuan. This is a fitting testament to the quality and reputation of the entire Irish dairy industry.” 

Later on in the day the Minister held a very productive meeting with his counterpart in the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Minister Zhi Shuping.  The focus of this meeting was a discussion on a range of co-operation issues, including the tenth anniversary of a very successful internship programme for Chinese interns in Ireland, discussion on dairy and pigmeat sectors and also market access for Irish beef in China. 

A Trade reception in the evening was hosted by the Irish Embassy in Beijing, to further highlight the Irish food industry and it showcased a range of Irish dairy, pork and seafood produce. This reception was attended by approximately 200 guests including many local businessmen and food industry representatives.  Opening the event, Minister Creed observed that: “The Ireland-China partnership in agri-food is continuing to develop strongly. There has been a two and a half fold increase in our agri-food exports to China from €240 million in 2012 to €610 million in 2015. This reflects the strong strategic partnerships being built between Chinese and Irish food companies. I am delighted to say that we are a leader in the premium category of infant formula sold on the Chinese market.”

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D. today concluded the Vietnamese leg of his trade mission with which further highlighted and raised the profile of the Irish food industry including its environmental credentials as evidenced through Origin Green.

The Minister concluded his last evening in Hanoi by hosting a reception in the Irish Embassy which brought together representatives of the Irish beef, pork and lamb sectors together with leading international chefs, hotel buyers and restaurateurs from Hanoi. The event served as a tasting event for Irish pork which is now widely on sale in Vietnam and is starting to gain greater market recognition.

Commenting on the event the Minister said “engagement with leading international chefs and buyers has been a core part of our national marketing strategy. The Bord Bia chef’s club for 85 Michelin start and equivalent chefs from around Europe is the best example in how we can merge our reputation for premium production with theirs as connoisseurs of such food. Last night was about extending this strategy into Vietnam and this week has shown that the potential for greater exports of Irish food and drink into this dynamic young market is enormous”.

Minister Doyle later today will travel on to South Korea, followed by two days of commercial and business meetings. Minister Doyle will hold high level bilateral talks with his counterparts in the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Friday.

To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 104/2016 (pdf 377Kb) 

Added 07.09.16

Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. at  the Trade Reception at the Embassy of Ireland, Beijing.

Added 07.09.16

As part of the trade mission, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D.met with the General Manager of Sanyuan, Dr. Chen in Beijing.

Date Released: 07 September 2016