As part of the continuing focus on market access for Irish Food products, Simon Coveney TD, met with the Chinese Animal Health and Epidemiology Centre (CAHEC) in Qingdao, and in a wide ranging discussion on animal health, took the opportunity to emphasise again the strict controls applying to the production of Irish Beef.
The Minister also had a meeting with the Yellow Seas Fisheries Institute where the potential for the expansion of the Irish Aquaculture sector was highlighted. The possibility of the exchange of technical experts between the Institute and Ireland’s Marine Institute was discussed.
In addition, the Minister also met with the Shangdong Import, Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, which is one of the main import points for Irish food products entering China. In 2011 up to €30 million of Irish food products were imported through Qingdao.
Before leaving for Nanjing the Minister addressed a business lunch hosted by Bord Bia, which was attended by major Chinese seafood and pork trade representatives was well as trade representatives from Ireland.
The Minister outlined the export potential for the Irish Food Industry.“Ireland, because of its comparatively small size, has bred strong export focussed companies that are engaged in a continuous dynamic process of transformation centred on the production of high quality innovative foods. Its dynamism has enabled the agri-food sector, our largest indigenous manufacturing sector to flourish and to steadily increase export value with the result that currently, 85% of our food and fish output is exported to more than 170 countries. That provides a sound and well established footing for positioning this home-grown industry as one of the central components of our export driven economic recovery.”
** Note the Offaly colours on the Irish flag