Irish agri-food exports to China will soon hit the €1bn mark, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said while visiting the SIAL food fair in Shanghai.
“Since 2010, the exports have gone from €200m to €800m and I think the billion mark is well within our reach in the short term,” Minister Creed told the Irish Farmers Journal. “Whether it is dairy, beef or pork, this is a really important market.”
However, he placed a caveat on that, in that regulatory requirements must be met to build a long-term export market in China for Irish produce.
Irish meat and dairy exporters attended SIAL along with Bord Bia. Trade wars with the US and a looming African swine fever crisis are going to upset the balance of trade between China and the rest of the world.
Minister Creed spoke to the Irish Farmers Journal about how this will impact Ireland:
On Wednesday, the minister and his officials will attend meetings in Beijing on the issue of meat plant export approvals. A number of plants are awaiting approval to export.
“In the longer term, the spec that is available to come into the market here as well is something we are looking to improve,” he said. “The pork sector at home has been on its knees for a substantial period, the pickup in the market will be sustainable in the Chinese market for the near future.”
The minister added that the shortage of protein due to African swine fever in China will not only benefit pork producers in Ireland, but demand will spill over into the beef sector.
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