Campaigns worth €8m aim to boost Irish food exports to Asia

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Bord Bia has today (Thursday 1 September) launched two campaigns, with a combined budget of €8 million, aimed at significantly increasing Irish food exports to Asia.

The “working with nature” campaigns, launched during the trade mission led by Bord Bia ministers to Japan, Singapore and Vietnam, are co-financed by the European Union.

€4.8 million will be spent promoting Irish beef and lamb in Japan, China, South Korea and the United States.

A further €3.2 million will be used to develop Irish dairy prospects in Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.

More than 80 local buyers, stakeholders and media participated in special technical seminars in Tokyo where the Japanese phase of the campaigns was officially launched.

Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue addresses delegates in Tokyo

Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue told delegates he was pleased to see Ireland at the forefront of campaigns to raise the profile of European produce.

He said that Japan is a very important trading partner for Ireland, especially for the agri-food sector.

“As part of these campaigns, nearly 2 million euros will be invested in promotional actions on the Japanese market.

“This is expected to result in growth of €11.6 million in Irish beef and lamb exports and growth of €18.9 million in Irish dairy exports to the market – a significant achievement for the sectors Irish meat and dairy products,” McConalogue said.

The minister said Ireland is uniquely placed to meet the demands of the Japanese consumer as it is a world leader in food safety, sustainability and traceability of production.

The Japanese market

Irish beef exports to Japan – the world’s third largest beef importer – have fallen from €15.7m in 2020 to €28m in 2021, thanks to a reduction in applied import duties to Irish products.

In the first six months of 2022, the country imported €16 million worth of Irish beef, half of which was offal.

Irish dairy exports to Japan were valued at €69 million in 2021, a 5% increase on the previous year.

In the first six months of 2022 Irish dairy exports to Japan were €38m (+85%), an encouraging sign given the current Covid-19 restrictions in the market.

Ireland exported €26 million worth of dairy products to Vietnam in 2021, a 55% increase from 2020.

Around 10,000 Asian buyers will be targeted through the dairy campaign, which will give Irish dairy processors access to six additional trade fairs in the region.

Asian buyers and journalists will also visit Irish farms and processors over the next three years.

Irish Lamb and Beef Served to Bord Bia Technical Seminar Delegates in Tokyo

Declan Fennell, Bord Bia’s Senior Director of European Promotions, who was also present at the launch event in Tokyo today, said:

“EU co-funded campaigns are a key way of putting Ireland on the world map as a food producer. Particular emphasis will be placed on establishing new relationships between Irish exporters and local importers and distributors in the relevant market.

“Combined, they represent the biggest investment ever in third country markets for the promotion of Irish meat and dairy products and will build on investment started in 2017,” he added.

Minister of State for New Markets Development Martin Heydon, who will lead the trade mission to Vietnam later this week, added:

“The campaign represents an invaluable opportunity for the Irish dairy sector to showcase its grass-fed and sustainably produced dairy products, on the farm and in the factory.

“The campaign aligns closely with Food Vision 2030 – Ireland’s strategy for the agri-food sector over the coming decade, aiming for Irish food, drink and horticulture exports to reach 21 billion by 2030,” the minister added.

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