Farmer representative groups said the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Agriculture Minister Han Changfu is a marketing coup for Irish agri-food.
IFA president Eddie Downey said the Government should seize this opportunity to fast-track access for Irish beef following the decision by the Chinese authorities earlier this year to lift the ban in place on European beef.
He said the goodwill after the weekend visit can also be used as an opportunity to increase the penetration of Ireland’s dairy, pigmeat, lamb and other agricultural exports to China.
ICMSA president John Comer said the media images of two such senior Chinese politicians visiting Irish dairy farms will be of immeasurable benefit to the marketing of Irish food.
“Irish dairy products already command a premium in the Chinese markets and this visit will copper-fasten the image of our foodstuffs as leaders in terms of their excellence,” he said.
ICSA president Patrick Kent said: “This visit is a welcome acknowledgement of the developing relationship between Ireland and China. The more markets we can open for Irish agricultural produce, the better for everyone,” said Mr Kent.
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