Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed led a delegation of Irish companies to meet two of China’s biggest dairy firms on Thursday.

The Minister and representatives of Kerry Group, Glanbia and Dairygold met with the leadership teams of Yili and Mengniu in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.

Their focus was on strategic business to business partnerships.

“Today’s activities provided a good example of the practical benefits of a ministerial trade mission,” Minister Creed said.

Bord Bia has identified China as a priority market for Ireland’s dairy, beef and seafood sectors

“Ireland’s dairy offering, based on the best of nature and science, with a strong focus on bespoke dairy ingredients and solutions, resonated strongly with the Chinese industry.”

“Inner Mongolia is famous as the home of the Chinese dairy industry, based on a tradition going back thousands of years,” he said.

Bord Bia and the Embassy of Ireland Beijing also met the companies on their home turf.

“Bord Bia has identified China as a priority market for Ireland’s dairy, beef and seafood sectors,” Bord Bia chief executive Tara McCarthy said.

“And although we already have a strong market presence in dairy, meetings with global leaders like Yilli and Megniu are essential as we look to broaden our customer base and partner with some of the fastest growing dairy companies in the world, who, increasingly, are based in Asia.”

The Irish delegation identified opportunities for several different markets but in particular cheese products for children and specialised nutrition for the elderly.

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