Ministers McConalogue and Heydon lead virtual market development engagements

  • First Virtual Trade Mission to South East Asia, covering Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand
  • Business meetings with key customers in China, Japan, UAE and USA
  • Launch of Market Access Report 2019-2020

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D.  and Minister of State with special responsibility for New Market Development, Martin Heydon T.D, are engaging in a series of market development and promotion events on key international markets, in collaboration with Bord Bia and the Irish Embassy network.

Minister McConalogue commented, “Over the next few weeks, my Department and Bord Bia will host a dairy-focused virtual trade mission to South East Asia, covering Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.   Bord Bia’s research has identified strong potential for export growth to these markets. In a world of uncertainty, meaningful engagement  with Ireland’s  growing customer base throughout the world  is more important than ever. This innovative approach, in bringing trade missions online, creates an opportunity to further deepen trading relationships between Ireland and key customers in these regions.”

Minister Heydon stated, “Ireland has consistently supplied quality, safe and sustainable food worldwide. These virtual events remind our key customers that Ireland remains committed to them and able to supply foods that their consumers can have confidence in. I would like to thank the relevant Ambassadors and Embassy teams for their vital support for our Trade Mission agenda.”

CEO of Bord Bia Tara McCarthy commented, “The South East Asia region is of strategic importance to Bord Bia’s dairy client companies, importing up to 2.6m metric tonnes of dairy ingredients from global markets in 2019. This virtual Trade Mission aims to confidently present Ireland as a dynamic supplier of high quality, safe and sustainable dairy, ideally positioned to meet this growing dairy demand in the region. Alongside our Department colleagues, Bord Bia has devised a programme of events that replicates the lead generation and awareness building activity of an in-market Trade Mission. We have secured approximately 250 of the most interested buyers who are ready to do business, following a thorough canvassing and pre-screening process. The 13 Irish dairy exporters, who will take part in online business to business meetings, will be front and centre during these five days, allowing us to build Ireland’s reputation as a global player in sustainable dairy solutions to key buyers.’’

In addition to the South East Asia Trade Mission, both Ministers participated with Bord Bia and Department officials in business meetings with key customers in China, Japan, the USA and the United Arab Emirates.

Minister McConalogue said, “It was great to hear first-hand the enthusiasm of consumers for Irish food and drink products in these markets, built on a reputation for quality, taste and sustainability.”

Minister Heydon added, “I was very pleased to see that, for each of these meetings, whether in China, Japan, UAE or the USA, both Bord Bia’s local team and my Department’s agricultural attachés in those locations participated, reflecting Ireland’s growing global footprint.”

Market Access Report 2019-2020

Ministers McConalogue and Heydon today also launched the Department’s Market Access Report 2019 – 2020.

The report provides an overview of the substantial progress made in increasing access for food and drink exports to international markets outside of Europe.

The report highlights the successes in this period, including expanding beef access to Japan and opening that market for sheepmeat products; opening the Mexican market for frozen pigmeat; and renegotiating bilateral dairy certificate with several importing countries.

It provides an insight into the continuous hard work undertaken at political, diplomatic and official levels which goes into achieving successful market access into existing and new markets. This work includes completing very detailed market access questionnaires, facilitating incoming audits and agreeing veterinary health certificates.

Minister McConalogue said, ‘‘The work of my Department on market access is focused not only on the opening of access to new international markets, but also on the equally challenging work of enhancing and retaining that access.”

Minister Heydon commented that as, ‘‘A core aspect of my role, as I see it, will be to develop relationships with counterparts in key third country markets to complement and to advance the market access work being done by my officials.”

Both ministers drew attention to the overall growth in agri-food exports to international markets in recent years.

Overall, agricultural exports to countries outside of Europe have increased from around €3.7 billion to €4.3 billion in the period 2016 to 2019. This represents an increase of €627 million or 17% in a four-year timeframe.

Between 2010 and 2019, agricultural exports to international markets increased as an overall proportion of our total agri-exports, from 23% to 30%.


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