Bord Bia’s meat marketing seminar was opened this Friday by Minister Martin Heydon.

Developing market access and identifying new opportunities for Irish product is a central theme in the Food Vision 2030 plan.

Minister Heydon said: “China reopening its market to Irish beef is hugely positive for Irish farmers and I want to pay tribute to my Department’s staff and everybody that worked so hard across the industry to get this market open again.”

Minister Heydon announced a major trade mission to China in May 2023 to build on the positive news of market access for Irish beef and help Irish producers build relationships with Chinese customers.

In his address, new CEO Jim O'Toole reported on a record year for food exports with €16.7bn of food exported from Irish shores in 2022.

With specific reference to the UK market Jim O'Toole outlined the importance of the market and also the huge challenge that Irish food exporters faced in navigating Brexit and COVID-19 in the last few years.

Rising costs in feed, fertiliser and fuel have also placed immense pressure on our primary producers

“Behind these very positive headline figures, we have to acknowledge the many challenges that many companies are facing, including a global economic uncertainty driven by high inflation rates and increased cost of living along with the war in Ukraine

“Rising costs in feed, fertiliser and fuel have also placed immense pressure on our primary producers and we must acknowledge that in the last number of years,” O Toole said.

Global economic outlook

Eva Gosick from Rabobank gave a global economic outlook for 2023. She highlighted the low growth expected in global economies in 2023 and the negative affect that this could have on meat consumption. Eva also highlighted some positive news for trade in 2023, including reduced feed costs, reduced energy and reduced shipping costs all of which should have a positive effect on trade in 2023.

Reducing wages and a price-conscious consumer were also highlighted as challenges in 2023.

Stay tuned to today for updates during the day.