DUBLIN, Ireland - Ireland is sending a trade delegation to China this week in a bid to cement trade ties ahead of Britain's departure from the European Union.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed is leading the trade visit to Shanghai and Beijing, looking for opportunities for the Irish agri-food and drinks sector, and in particular Irish beef.
"This visit will build on the recent approval of an additional tranche of 14 beef plants to export to China, with a total of 21 beef plants now approved to export," hes said Monday.
Following a process of negotiations over several years, market access for Irish beef was announced in April last year, with exports commencing that summer. By the end of 2018 over 1,200 tonnes, valued at €2.3 million, had been exported.
"Exports this year have already risen to 4,600 tonnes, valued at over €21 million, to the end of August (based on latest available CSO trade statistics). With the approval of the additional plants allowing for greater supply, there is now significant potential for future growth," Creed said.
Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia will also be on the visit to China.
"Chinese market access and beef plant approvals spearheaded by Department of Agriculture Food & Marine, alongside Bord Bia's intensive Chinese market insight work over three years have laid the foundation for long term growth in the Chinese market. The upcoming trade visit represents an exciting next phase in our strategy where we will build awareness and drive sales of Irish beef by forging new relationships and deepening existing links with key Chinese food service and eCommerce customers," she said Mon day. "Our 2020 marketing strategy for China will systematically build the reputation of food brand Ireland among Chinese customers and consumers; starting with the announcement next week of a major promotion that will place Irish beef front and centre with Chinese consumers."