China set to overtake UK for Irish food exports

China will become the first billion euro market for Irish food and drink exports outside of Britain within the next three years, Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter predicted yesterday.

Last year, Ireland exported over €650m worth of food and drink to China, primarily driven by dairy, pigmeat, and seafood.

“China is currently our second-largest market for pork and dairy, while it remains a valuable and increasingly important market destination for Irish seafood,” said Mr. Cotter.

A new Bord Bia online campaign promoting Irish dairy products is expected to reach over 33 million Chinese consumers initially. 

Last week, a trade mission to Asia exposed the Irish agri-food and agri-tech sectors to a growing market of 1.5bn people. 

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and minister of state Andrew Doyle headed delegations to China, Vietnam, Korea and Singapore. 

More than 42 companies took part in the mission, which involved multi agency co-operation between the Department of Agriculture, Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, and the Irish embassies in the four countries.

A second Bord Bia office in Asia — its Shanghai hub continues to serve the Chinese market — was officially opened in Singapore by Mr Creed. 

It will serve Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, and Korea.

Creating new markets and building on existing trading relationships are key, particularly in the context of Britain’s decision to exit the EU, said Mr Creed.

He also reported further progress in ongoing efforts to secure access to the Chinese market for Irish beef.


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