Irish meat trade in China mission
The delegation, which is being led by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, is the largest-ever agricultural delegation to China, with the chief executives from leading Irish meat, dairy, seafood and agri-tech exports given the opportunity to meet 127 individuals from 51 participating Chinese agri-food companies.
Coveney will attend a series of political meetings with key Chinese ministers involved in agricultural and livestock market access, including the Chinese Minister for Inspection and Quarantine Service, Zhi Shuping and the Chinese Vice-minister for Agriculture, Niu Dun.
The minister will also make a keynote speech at Nanjing University, one of the leading agriculture universities in China.
“I do not think that it is an over-statement to suggest that this is one of the most ambitious trade delegations which my department, Bord Bía and Enterprise Ireland have brought together,” stated Coveney.
“The trade mission will afford companies an excellent opportunity to identify and deliver new business ventures, while at the same time facilitating meetings and networking events with companies and key people within the trade in China.
“In this regard, five sector-specific programmes have been developed for the dairy, meat and genetics, seafood, bloodstock and agri-tech sectors. This will facilitate networking by participating companies and will allow participants to visit and see, at first hand, production facilities in China.”
The visit, which is taking part from 15-22 April, follows a successful visit to Ireland by Dun last year. Chinese vice-president Xi Jinping also visited Ireland earlier this year, and identified agriculture as a key area for co-operation between the two countries.
Coveney said that Ireland views China as a key strategic partner, both in terms of export market and technical expertise on sustainable food production.
“Ireland is strategically placed to be a key supplier of quality meats, dairy products, beverages seafood and other products and services to China,” he said. “Already in 2011, Ireland exported €240m in dairy, meats, beverages, seafood and hides and skins to China.
“Indeed, infant formula is one of Ireland’s biggest food exports to China, worth over €100m in 2011. Ireland produces over 10% of the world’s total supply of infant formula annually and, with the abolition of EU quotas, we have the capacity to develop this market further.”