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Coveney Concludes Highly Successful Trade Mission to China

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, today concluded the agri food trade mission to China which included 37 of Ireland’s leading agri-food and agri-services companies, after visiting 5 cities and over 50 trade promotion meetings and events. A number of the companies on the trade mission made substantive progress in advancing their commercial relationships in China including Samco, Keenan’s, UCD and Dovea.

Speaking before his departure from Shanghai, the Minister commented “I am delighted with the progress made this week across a range of sectors and the opportunity to showcase Ireland’s world class food and drink products and services to a huge and expanding market like China. The opportunity presented by the Chinese market is staggering. Since my previous visit here two years ago China has risen to become our sixth biggest export market with values trebling over the last three years to reach €390 million last year and expected to reach €500 million this year.  I expect this will continue to rise as demand grows and there is an increasing awareness of Ireland and the quality of our products.

The Minister added “Following political meetings with my Chinese counterparts including the Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Han Changfu) and the Minister responsible for market access (Mr. Zhi Shuping), we have had a significant breakthrough on beef, with a firm commitment from the Chinese Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQSIQ) to carry out a formal inspection visit in Ireland in early December. My Department has already begun an intensive engagement with the Chinese authorities and with Irish industry on the planning for this inspection visit."

On dairy issues, the week saw a number of events marking strategic partnerships between Irish and Chinese dairy companies which are now resulting in dairy produce manufactured in Ireland on sale on Chinese supermarket shelves. The Minister commented “it was a source of great pride to see dairy and infant formula products originating from Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Cavan and Monaghan and clearly associated with Ireland now becoming the premier product of choice for Chinese consumers. We are fortunate to have Irish companies such as IDB, Glanbia, and Kerry Foods, and multinationals such as Abbot, Wyeth, and Nutricia, which have manufacturing facilities in Ireland, representing Ireland in this extraordinary market."

The Minister concluded “the one clear message I have got from the Chinese authorities, companies and buyers this week is that they know and trust food originating from Ireland as being produced to the highest standards when it comes to food safety, quality and sustainability. It’s important now that we build on this momentum and keep focused on the huge prize which is access to the Chinese market for all our agri-food services and products. For my part, I look forward to continued collaboration with my Chinese counterpart and developing further the Ireland-China agri-food partnership. 


View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 170/2014 (pdf 548Kb) 

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Date Released: 07 November 2014